5 Traditions for Creative Families

Starting new family traditions can tap into your family's artistic genes and help you create memories with your loved ones.
Starting new family traditions can tap into your family's artistic genes and help you create memories with your loved ones.
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If you think back on your childhood, what events stand out the most in your mind? Most likely they're the holidays and family traditions that you looked forward to every year, and now recall with laughter and fond memories.

And with the years flying by like they do, why not start some new family traditions and make more memories with your own family? We've got five creative ideas that will spark your family's imagination and get everyone's creative juices flowing. They're good for families with young children or those simply young at heart. So tap into your artistic genes because these five family traditions will help you create new memories while you spend quality time with your loved ones.

End of Summer Talent Show

Summer always vanishes in a blink of an eye and before you know it, it's time for the kids to go back to school. But with this annual summer talent show, the kids won't be dreading the end of summer nearly as much.

Start planning in the first few weeks of summer. Decide what kind of talent you would like for your show -- is it just for family, or do you want to make it a block party show or include friends from the out-of-season sports team? Schedule a date for your talent show right before school starts. If you plan early, the kids can get together and practice all summer long, whenever there's a rainy day or even create programs, signs or stage elements for the show. This doesn't have to be a kids-only show either, the adults can participate, too, and doing so will certainly increase the laughs. For the finale, consider a group number that includes everyone. You'll be recalling the silliness and laughs for years to come.

Corked Memories

If you're a wine lover, this creative tradition is for you. As you're toasting your next special occasion, whether it's an engagement party, a new job offer or simply enjoying a sunset on the beach, don't let your wine or Champagne cork find its way to the trash. Instead, save it as a keepsake of your special day. Jot down the date and the event or special memory you want to look back on directly on the cork.

You can help your children start their own corked memories collection by giving them the cork from their 21st birthday celebration. Keep your corked memories in a bowl or vase for easy access to reminiscing. If you're crafty, you could even turn your memories into your next DIY project by making a cork board, serving tray, trivet, coasters or even a picture frame.

Yearly Family Album
Your entire family can participate in making a year-end family photo album.
Your entire family can participate in making a year-end family photo album.
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Don't let another year go by without putting your photos in an album. Instead, start a new tradition of making a yearly family photo book. Your entire family can participate in the process and make it a real event rather than the chore you keep putting off.

Ask each family member to choose his or her favorite photos from events throughout the year. Then, during a couple of rainy days, sit down together and scrapbook the pages. If scrapbooking isn't you're thing, ask each family member to come up with fun captions for their photos and create a bound photo book with easy-to-use sites like Shutterfly.com or iPhoto. If you have a tech-savvy family, you could even make a video family album by putting your pictures and captions in a presentation set to music. Don't forget to add the family videos you've taken throughout the year as well.

Thanksgiving "Guest Book"

Thanksgiving is a holiday full of traditions, whether it's watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as a family, playing a game of flag football in the back yard once the turkey's in the oven or making the exact same side dishes every single year. If you're looking for a new, creative tradition to add to the list, consider starting a Thanksgiving guest book that everyone at dinner has to sign before you eat. This guest book isn't just a list of names and good wishes to the host, it's a sentence or two about what each guest is thankful for that year. One year the entry might be family-only, but if your neighbors come over the next year, ask them to sign the book as well. You'll laugh and cry as you look back on the entries of years past, that might include silly thoughts like, "Thank goodness the fire department didn't come when I burned the sweet rolls today" to more serious mentions of family illnesses or college graduates. Don't forget to leave room on each page for a group photo.

Family Cookbook
Collect and keep your favorite recipes together in your own family cookbook that you can give as gifts to your children.
Collect and keep your favorite recipes together in your own family cookbook that you can give as gifts to your children.
Caroline Schiff/Getty Images

It's the morning of your 40th birthday and you suddenly find yourself craving the birthday cake your mom used to make and let you eat for birthday breakfast. Unfortunately, you don't have the recipe. Sounds like it's time to start another family tradition -- the family cookbook. Let's be honest, most holidays and special occasions revolve around food. And not just any food, but the homemade treats passed down and made by your family for decades. To keep these recipes and memories safe, why not collect all of your family's favorite recipes and put them in a binder for each of your children?

Next time you're all in the kitchen, snap a photo and add that to the front cover. Each year, as family members find and try out new recipes, make sure to add them to the book. Be creative with the titles too, because they will help you preserve the memory of the meal. You could add "Tom Finally Popped the Question Jalapeno Poppers" or "Space Shuttle Chicken" from that shuttle launch tailgate. Notes will add a special touch as well -- "Don't forget to forget the nutmeg, since Dad forgot it on Mom's birthday, and we decided it was better that way."


5 Summertime Family Traditions

5 Summertime Family Traditions

What are good traditions for families during the summer? Read about 5 summertime family traditions at HowStuffWorks.

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  • "Our Book of Thanks." Eighteen25. Sept. 1, 2010. (July 28, 2011) http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2010/11/our-book-of-thanks.html
  • "Produce a Talent Show." Disney Family Fun. (July 28, 2011) http://familyfun.go.com/playtime/produce-a-talent-show-706132/
  • "Put a Cork In It! Creative Crafts Made From Wine Corks." PlanetGreen.com. July 27, 2010. (July 28, 2011) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/put-a-cork-in-it-creative-crafts-made-from-wine-corks.html
  • "Talent Shows: Ideas for Fun and Fundraising." VolunteerSpot.com. May 14, 2009. (July 28, 2011) http://blog.volunteerspot.com/volunteer_guru/2009/05/talent-shows-ideas-for-fun-and-fundraising.html
  • Thigpen, Julie. "DIY Cork Crafts for Winos." Belle Maison. Jan. 12, 2010. (July 28, 2011) http://www.bellemaison23.com/2010/01/diy-cork-crafts-for-winos.html
  • "Wine Cork Board." MarthaStewart.com. 2011. (July 28, 2011) http://www.marthastewart.com/271055/wine-cork-board