10 Unique & different family traditions from a Single Parent family

Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook


With the Summer Holidays and Christmas coming up so soon it’s got me thinking more and more about family traditions!

In our family we have a raft of ones we have gathered either purposely or accidentally over the past 13 years.  Some we do throughout the year and some are about Christmas and the Holidays.

It feels good to have/make family traditions even more so in a Single Parent family.  I think it gives Miss 13 a greater sense of family, connection, is something a bit ‘special’, it’s something she can rely on and we do also have loads of fun with them :-)

So I thought I would share some of our different family traditions here:


10 Unique & different Family traditions from a Single Parent family


1. Milk Shakes at Midnight on the eve of your Birthday (& 1 present)

At midnight on the eve of my daughters Birthday every year, I wake her up, wish her Happy Birthday and ask her if she wants to get up for a Midnight Milkshake.
She always wants to and it’s a special unique way to start the Birthday.
While drinking the Milkshake, I also give her one little present from her stash…then she crawls back into bed in Milky sleepy birthday dreamyness!


Polka Dot Milkshakes
Birthday Milkshakes @ Midnightjamieanne / Foter.com / CC BY-ND



2. See your Birthday IN and OUT

This is one I do myself, whether I’m with family/friends on my Birthday or even if I’m just by myself at home.
I always see IN my Birthday, stay up til Midnight (and wish myself a Happy Birthday) and then I love to see it OUT the other end past midnight also.


3. Decorate the Christmas tree with 5 spontaneous household finds each

Decorating our tree is always heaps of fun.
We put on all of our lights and normal yearly decorations which are a mis-mass of beautiful ones and 13 years of childhood made ornaments, some super cool ones, some not so cool, but special.  We have one that is a Pollystyrene ball with about 6 pins stuck in it holding on sequins and 1 ribbon loop.  The seqins are clustered on one side of it even, but we love it and it always goes on the tree.
Then once the tree is decorated, we stand back and admire our handywork…

Then we say ready-set-go and the two of us race around the house looking for the oddest looking things we can find anywhere in the house to compromise our tree…, yes its not to ‘compliment’ it, we want to ‘compromise’ our tree!

It makes it very unique and is a great talking point when friends come over to see if they can spot all the funny things.
We’ve had Bendable plastic Frogs, Pegs, Snorkelling Masks, Photo’s, Rubber Ducks, a Roll of Toilet paper.
One year Miss 13 even attacked my drawer and dug out a pair of semi-sexy undies, I allowed it as they did at least ‘look’ kinda Christmassy and they were still mostly respectable 😉


Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree – with extra ‘un Christmas-sy things on it’


4. Christmas tree stays up til at least mid-February and lights go on (with a timer) every night

I would keep it up longer, as I love seeing it and even more so I love turning on the sparkling lights and turning off the rest of the house lights of an evening.
Next time I build a new house, somehow I’m going to ‘install’ permanent fairy lights in each room!
One year we honestly kept ours up until around June…yes people June…yes it’s nuts…yes people scoffed and laughed…yes people were jealous…don’t care.

Now with living in our Apartment, space is at a premium, so we have had to modify our approach of keeping the tree up ‘forever’ a little, we also have to ‘reduce’ the size of our tree.


5. Write Thank you cards/notes to present givers for Birthdays and Christmases

Miss 13 has made Thank You cards ever since she was little and we have continued it on.
We make it on the computer usually with some photos from the event and a general note about it inside, we print off as many as she needs and then she hand writes every ones names and a personal note in each one.
Sometimes our cards are really really late, but figure with a TY card, it’s still better late than never.
But for the first time this year, we flaked on it though and never got to them (kinda counteracts my line above, but normally they are better late than never)!! Next year we are definitely going to keep the tradition.


6. Orange in the bottom of the Christmas Stocking

It wasn’t really something we kids grew up with as we didn’t do Stockings as such, but somewhere along the way I thought this olden day tradition was a great idea and have done so now for the last 4.
Funny thing is M13 temporarily forgets every year, so she’s getting to the bottom of her stocking and gets all excited about the heavy big thing in the bottom, pulls it out and goes “oooahhhh, it’s an orange”….and then says “oh yeah, that’s right ‘THE Orange :-)”


7. Christmas is wherever you are and whoever you are with

I’m not tied down to Christmas dinner and all the trimmings (even though I do love to be part of that too)…
We do Christmas wherever we are and who ever we are with and we can do whatever we want.  All still remembering why we celebrate it, rather than how ‘perfect’ it can be.

Some years we have been staying in the middle of the wop-wops deep in the isolated heart of North Otago staying with a big bunch of us in a High Country Sheep farm…awesomeness.
One year we went to the beach at Plimmerton and swam and lazed on the beach together.
One year we forgoed traditional food and had a full on palatial spread of Chocolate fondue…sensational.
This year, who knows?


Christmas Presents - On the lawn

Christmas Presents – On the lawn


8. Always – always – always ‘Beep through Tunnels’

Yup, every tunnel, no matter where you are no matter who you are with, even with the Queen of England we would still beep through tunnels.
In Wellingtons MT Vic tunnel you either strike stuck in the mud non-beepers and your just beeping to yourself, or you strike gold and get a chorus of fellow other beepers happy to spread the joy.
By the way, you just can’t beep once!  You beep ALOT and varry it up, all whilst concentrating on your driving of course.

One time heading to the airport to pick up my Mom, we arrived at the airport looking just a tad sheepish.  When Mom asked what was up, we found great hilarity in telling her we had ‘broken’ the horn, as we beeped so much through the tunnel that it was no longer working!
A couple of hours latter it started working ‘kind of’ again, but at like 20%, and would just let out this soft ‘phhrrrrrp’ like it was in pain ;-). A couple of days latter it was back to normal.
I know there will be some tunnel horn bepper hatters out there, but that’s how we roll.


9. Drawing pictures or writing notes or Jokes on the Toilet roll

A couple of years ago I randomly wrote a note on the Toilet Paper roll sitting on the holder in our toilet to Miss 13.  I ‘think’ I was telling her she was awesome and I loved her very much…and I think I drew a wee picture…for her to find either during the night or in the morning.
Well that started a new sporadic tradition of us writing notes or drawing pictures on the toilet roll to suprise each other often.
Our stick figures became a bit more artistic after and while and sometimes the notes got really really long and you had to unroll it.
I loved getting them from her and she found it hilarious getting them from me.
You just had to remember that if you went to the toilet before the other had yet seen it, that you used TP out of the spare roll basket, not the one you had just drawn on!
Yes, there was the odd time that a night-time-wee resulted in person not seeing the new note or picture before they used the TP (you know trying to stay asleep so you don’t turn on the light and barely even open your eyes!).
I know I’ve kept lots of the really funny ones, but they are in storage.  Found this hilarious one on Pinterest recently that I’m going to do tonight.


Toilet Paper Notes & Art.   Repinned via Anna Musso

Toilet Paper Notes & Art. Repinned via Anna Musso


10. Hide the Green Animal biscuit for the other to discover

Recently Miss 13 was sick for a whole week (and during the School Holidays), so sick that she couldn’t stomach much food.  So when on day 6 we made the epic first trip out of the house to the supermarket to stock up on essentials, I asked what she felt like, that she could have anythings…they only things she felt like was “Iced Animal Biscuits”…so that is what she had.

So over the next few days, many of these got consumed by her (and me)…but somehow one made its way into her “Pull out couch” bed, so when she got up latter she found in kinda underneath her…hilarity!  This in turn was then thrown at me, as she thought I put it there and I threw it back.

Latter that night I hid it in her Shoe so she would find it the next day getting ready to go back to School
…The next night I found it in my Bed!
…The next night I put it in her dressing gown pocket
…Yesterday I found it yet again in my Ugg Boot (which she tells me she put it there a few weeks ago and had been waiting patiently for me to find it)
…Now to find a new place to hide it tonight?…


What about you, what unique family traditions have you started?
Are they something you did as a kid, or have they just ‘developed’ over time?


If you liked this post, I would love it if you would share it, you can use the buttons below.

If you would like to know when I post a new post, use the “subscribe to blog” box in the righthand sidebar and enter your email address.

Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook


  1. ThaliaKR says:

    What a lovely, varied, original list!

    I really love that your daughter writes thank you cards. I remember how much Mum had to nag us as kids to do so and I really hope we can manage it as my son grows. It seems to be a hard thing to make happen.

    • Wellington Chic says:

      It was so great to meet you yesterday ThaliaKR at #BlogCampWlgn I look forward to now reading and keeping up with your blog too.

      Thanks so much for your nice comment :-)
      Haha, the Mum nagging…yes that’s probably me too, but after years of doing them I think it’s now her expectation to always do them too.

      A cool idea when they are still so young is to do an imprint of their little hand or foot in non-toxic paint or ink onto a thick piece of card. You can then scan it and use it as the front of the Thank You card…still got a little bit of them in it then even when they can’t write.

  2. I LOVE your list it made me laughed so hard (and almost cried a little as this is such a sweet special post). You’re so funny!! I love your Christmas 5 extra items, I love your milkshake traditions, your toilet drawings, I love your orange!! I just love you guys! Your traditions are magic and so special thank you for sharing this part of your life Mx

    • Wellington Chic says:

      Hi Madeleine @ NZ Ecochick

      Awwww, that’s such a sweet comment, thank you so much :-)
      Great to be able to laugh hard and nearly cry all within the same page – ha!
      It was a super fun list to make, thinking about all our crazy things.
      What about NZEcochick’s family…what ‘unique’ traditions do you guys do?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: