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Family Anniversary Traditions

With a family this large, it's easy to create traditions unique to your group of kin.

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Every family has traditions. Some are public knowledge -- rituals and customs that are common to lots of families from the same culture. And some are private -- silly gifts, personalized songs, special meals and little gestures that outsiders might not know about. From random Saturday morning dance parties to living room sleepovers on New Year's Eve, these are the personal things that make your family what it is.

Family traditions can occur with everyday events -- maybe you make the same breakfast every Sunday or there's a special bedtime song that you sing to your kids every night -- but where they really spring up, of course, is around holidays and milestones. Some of the traditions your family follows may seem trivial, or they've been created almost by accident. Most of them probably don't cost very much money or require much effort, but don't underestimate them. These are the moments that kids treasure and are the ones they'll end up re-creating for their own kids.

In this article, we'll talk about five annual events that most families, regardless of religion or culture, tend to create traditions around. Anyone can throw birthday parties, commemorate graduations and snap first-day-of-school pictures, but we'll give you lots of ideas on how to make these milestones even more meaningful (and fun). And new traditions don't necessarily have to be dreamed up by parents -- your kids can be active participants in creating them. You'll find that it's not all about expensive parties, new outfits and fancy toys. There are so many ways (none of them involving wads of cash) to create amazing memories for your kids and give them something special to look forward to every year. Read on to find out how to introduce these special moments and rituals into your family's life.

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