Double Take

Taking a second look at life experiences

The Family Tradition That Fills My Notebook With Love


Some family traditions get the best start when instituted before your kids are old enough to say “no”.

Then, before you know it, by the time they are old enough, the thing just takes on a life of its own.

One such tradition, started early on in our family life, yields treasures that overfill a 2 1/2″ white shiny binder with sweet memories, from just about every year since my children’s small little hands were big enough to hold a crayon and scribble something on a piece of paper.

We never permitted each other to buy a store-bought card for any occasion. Ever.  This rule held true for every one of us, and we started it when our kids were very, very young.

What resulted from that one, small tradition is a memorable mountain of some of the most beautiful cards I’ve ever received and would be the envy of any card company out there. Sometimes just the child-like pictures alone made my eyes well up, even before I got to read what my children barely could write. As they got older, the cards were more elaborate, at times hand crafted with such love and care that often I would feel a little remorse receiving them, knowing how much time the very creation of them must have taken.

My husband and I had the same policy, with them and with each other, although our creative efforts never matched that of our kids.

This year, my daughter winced as she guiltily handed me a small hand-drawn card for my birthday that she barely had time to make. Her hands are full, as both she and her husband work full-time along with juggling the parenting responsibilities for three under-kindergarten-aged boys.

I’ll lovingly add it to my notebook, knowing that despite the hectic and hurried pace of her life, the tradition holds a place in her heart–and in mine.

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3 thoughts on “The Family Tradition That Fills My Notebook With Love

  1. on said:

    Beautiful, what a wonderful tradition!!

  2. Jerry Schapira on said:


    Sent from my iPhone


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