Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Bloganuary: Write about a few of your favorite family traditions.

One of my favorite family traditions was, when the kids were little, we used to walk to buy our Christmas tree. The grocery store across the street sold trees. We would all bundle up, get the wagon, and walk over and pick out our tree. We'd hoist the tree into the wagon and I would pull it home, usually with the tree resting against my back to keep it from falling over. Some years, we did it in the bright sun, some years it was dark and actively snowing. It was always so fun to live through the kid's excitement. We'd pick out the perfect tree and then some of us would stand outside and guard it while the others went inside to pay.

Another favorite tradition is our annual (sometimes twice-annual!) trip to the beach in Hilton Head Island, SC. We've been going there since before all of the kids were even born and we still go now. We hang out with my in-laws, go to the beach, ride bikes around, eat at the Salty Dog Cafe. It's all wonderful but the beach was one of my favorite places. I love to dig in the sand and build sandcastles. Even though they're practically grown, the kids still join me in digging. Our favorite game is to build a giant castle with a moat and wall just a little bit up the beach from the waves. Then we have to race the incoming tide to finish and see how long the castle survives. Sometimes, we do a good enough job that the remnants of the castle are still there the next day!