Metatalktail Hour: Tradition! February 25, 2017 4:28 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday Evening, MetaFilter! This week's Metatalktail conversation starter is, What is your favorite personal/family/friend group/societal tradition?

Remember, they're conversation starters, not conversation limiters, so you can talk about any sociable/personal/sharing thing on your mind -- we're here to kibbitz! Except politics, the bouncers hate politics.

If you have ideas for Metatalktail conversation starters for future weeks, memail or e-mail me, I'm going to start a list. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 4:28 PM (99 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Every night as she falls asleep, I tell my wife "I love you forever." Every morning as she wakes up, I say " good morning, Sunshine!"
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:38 PM on February 25, 2017 [18 favorites]

I think the reason I am enjoying "Feast" so much is that my mother, who is a spectacular cook, always made very fancy, full-on holiday meals at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, relatives visiting, etc., where she'd break out the fancy linens and the wedding china and the silver and the crystal. Many of my best family memories are at a formal dinner table, often with beloved grandparents or cousins visiting. I knew when I got married I definitely wanted fine china, and now I have THREE sets of dishes (everyday, fine china, and Christmas -- and they all coordinate so I can mix and match serving dishes). So I think doing our weekly family feasts, even though they're not quite as big as a holiday meal, is part of that favorite tradition.

This week's Feast was celebrating Mr. McGee's 40th birthday so we had friends over -- a first for our Feasts! We had three courses and used all the china and silver and even had the leaf in the dining room table, it was elaborate!
  • First course: Appetizer of cheese fondue (white cheddar and boursin, with cream and fresh ground pepper), in puff pastry shells, with orange peppers, cauliflower, Granny Smith apples, and pretzels as dippers. Then you get to eat the cheesy puff pastry, it is excellent.
  • Main course: Citrus roast chicken, stuffed with chopped onion and roasted on a "rack" of onion rings, onions served on the side; pan gravy; strawberries in balsamic vinegar; boiled asparagus in oil, vinegar, and feta cheese; and couscous with pine nuts.
  • Dessert: Cake. I had the bakery make it because I did so much cooking. :) I got Roman numeral candles, which I thought were very amusing.

    Took 2 1/2 hours to eat and I feel was a worthy feast for starting a fourth decade! Also I'm on my third dishwasher load (SO MANY POTS) and still have to do a few handwashed pieces.

  • posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:41 PM on February 25, 2017 [8 favorites]

    I've started a new personal tradition over the past couple of months--at the end of the day I consciously list a couple of things that I'm grateful about from the day. No matter how challenging the day has been or how upsetting the news has been, there is always SOMETHING that I can be grateful for--and I find that it provides a nice, calming end to the day.
    Today, I'm grateful that my lovely cat has fully recovered from yesterday's dental surgery, and I'm grateful that I only had to wait one hour at the car dealership this morning for some minor car maintenance issues.
    And, I am really grateful this weekly thread tradition because reading the responses always makes me feel like I'm reading little excerpts of a lot of really great novels!
    posted by bookmammal at 4:56 PM on February 25, 2017 [11 favorites]

    Favorite family tradition growing up: going to Hamtramck for Polish food during Christmas break. Then buying Polish sausage and various pastries at the local shops for round two on New Year's. Round two includes homemade pierogi.

    Favorite tradition with my husband: we get drunk watching Ken Burns Prohibition on repeal day.
    posted by ghost phoneme at 5:03 PM on February 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

    My favourite tradition is morning coffee with my husband. He makes coffee, we sit in bed, and we start the day chatting and getting caffeinated - until it's time for a quick snug and then time to get up and at 'em to start the day. We do this on both weekdays and weekends, although weekends involve a second mug of coffee because we usually have time to lounge for a bit.

    It's probably worth noting that I am absolutely, positively not a morning person and will do almost anything to avoid waking up before the last possible second - but I will also do almost anything to avoid missing morning coffee.

    My side of the conversation is often lacking, and his is often a bit too running-focused (since he's usually waking me up after he returns from his run), but it still remains the very best way to start the day.
    posted by VioletU at 5:08 PM on February 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

    My two best girlfriends and I take a trip twice a year, usually to one of the resort towns near us during the off season. We get a suite and bring snacks and wine and spend the weekend reading, napping, soaking in the hot tub, drinking wine, talking, and just vegging. It is the truest form of vacation I can imagine, and I can't wait until our upcoming trip in April. The hotel we booked has a hot tub IN THE ROOM!
    posted by stellaluna at 5:23 PM on February 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

    Just about any time my wife and I are going to the store, we'll ask the other if they need anything. We'll do this in person, on the phone, by text, or email, depending on the situation. And almost every single time the other will say "buy me a present."

    If someone has started a shopping list the other will often sneak "Present for Jim/Amy" on it somewhere.

    And we almost always end up buying them a present.
    posted by bondcliff at 5:25 PM on February 25, 2017 [27 favorites]

    For two years as a teenager, I went to asummer nerd camp for kids who got invited to take the SAT as middle schoolers and got high scores. One of the best parts of nerd camp was the camp dances that happened every session, which featured a lot of very specific songs, known as the canon, with very specific, ritualistic dance things associated with them. This page gives you an idea of what some of the songs were, though it's a living, growing list, to the extent that some of the comments on that list are incomprehensible to me even as a past camper. The big universal things from year to year are Stairway to Heaven and American Pie. Another camp ritual was a ceremony called Passionfruit on the last morning, where everyone who was going to age out of camp the next summer would come and make a toast to friends, inside jokes, or anything else they'd learned over the session, ending with the words "I love the passion fruit."

    That camp and those rituals had a huge effect on my life both then and going forward. They're still among the most meaningful larger-scale traditions I've participated in, and I went to a college that prides itself on its weird traditions.

    Anyway, fast forward ten or eleven years after my last summer at camp, I'm volunteering at the local leftist bookstore and I get to talking with my co-volunteer about our high school experiences. Somehow we figure out that we both went to CTY, and we know immediately what we have to do. We sign up for another shift together the following week, I bring in the canon CDs my old camp roommate lovingly made and mailed to me in the year after we both aged out, and we have a dance party in the bookstore. Later on I go buy us a passionfruit iced tea to split, and we make a joint toast "to growing up and moving on."

    I have lots of little small-scale things I do for myself now that you might call traditions, but finding someone else who remembers the ones I loved as a teenager still makes me smile the most.
    posted by ActionPopulated at 5:30 PM on February 25, 2017 [13 favorites]

    Happy Hour.
    posted by jonmc at 5:53 PM on February 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

    I'm engaged in one of my favorite traditions right now. Our closest friends, who live right downstairs, have come up to hang out. Ingrid and I have engaged in some experimental cocktail creation*, and soon we will cobble together some kind of dinner based on whatever foods we each have in our fridges. And we're watching Great British Bake Off reruns.

    Probably my favorite daily practice is bringing coffee to gingerbeer in the morning before I go to work, and making sure that she is both awake and adequately covered in cats.

    *mefite mrzarquon posted a photo earlier of a cocktail menu from a bar in Berlin (and where he of course ran into a bartender he knew in Portland), and the one that caught our eye was the Thousand Owls: Talisker whisky, coffee-infused rye, Drambuie, and Benedictine. Our recreation is pretty tasty!
    posted by rtha at 5:56 PM on February 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

    I bring the people I love bread I make for them. I know how to make lots of different kinds, so I try and first think about what kind might bring them the most comfort in their current situation, and then I make it for them, typically within an hour or two before I bring it to them. And I always bring butter at room temperature and a butter knife. With this simple procedure I have created a small army of followers who would lie through their teeth for me in a court of law, no matter how heinous my crime.
    posted by Stanczyk at 6:36 PM on February 25, 2017 [37 favorites]

    I had a 15-year anniversary gig with a band I'm in. We all flew in from around the world. It was amazing.
    posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:42 PM on February 25, 2017 [12 favorites]

    One thing I love that my family does: when it's time to sing Happy Birthday to anyone at my parents' house, my mom pulls out a bucket of children's instruments. Maracas, a triangle, tambourine, etc. Everyone has to sing AND play an instrument. Dancing optional but encouraged.

    It's very raucous but we definitely do not just do a quick, monotone version of Happy Birthday!
    posted by tippy at 6:46 PM on February 25, 2017 [26 favorites]

    On New Year's Eve, my family sits around and drinks beer and plays poker, and then when midnight comes, we make bets about what is going to happen in the new year and pay up on what we were wrong about from the old year. I am solidly an adult, and I have never done the swanky NYE party thing, because the old tradition is so good.

    When I was a child, my dad worked late on Fridays, so my mom and I would order in greasy food and watch a movie. As a kid, I was allowed a soda, and nowadays when we do this, we both have a beer or two.
    posted by coppermoss at 7:11 PM on February 25, 2017 [7 favorites]

    When I was a wee lad, our traditional Christmas Eve supper was milk rice with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Many years later, I tried to re-create the dish, not for Christmas Eve, but just because I felt nostalgic. It took a frustrating number of tries before I figured out that the key to getting the little yellow islands of butter floating on the milk was to heat the milk before pouring it on the rice.
    posted by Bruce H. at 7:13 PM on February 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

    On some Saturday nights, I drink too much red wine and post tipsily on Metafilter.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:27 PM on February 25, 2017 [17 favorites]

    A tradition many people share.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:34 PM on February 25, 2017 [10 favorites]

    On New Year's Eve, my sister and I race to be the first to claim our grandmother's bridal tiara to wear. Although this year, we thought it best to wear a difference tiara.
    posted by crush-onastick at 7:39 PM on February 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

    you couples are so cute, I can't stand it 💕

    We have all kinds of traditions in our family. Every Christmastime, we get a new ornament, but the tree is never too crowded because every year some ornament has broken on the way downstairs. Every New Year's, we have black-eyed peas and a mix of seven kinds of greens. We have a private language that animals understand. (This is common in many families and animals understand it equally well in theirs.)
    posted by Countess Elena at 7:40 PM on February 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

    Drinking wine (tip: Franzia's Dark Red Blend, official house wine chez Never-Frosting) and waiting on hot and sour soup delivery because I've come down with a cold in the middle of my staycation.

    I did put my stuffy, sudafeded self to work today on a project I've been looking forward to for months. I am very pleased.

    I don't know if it counts as tradition, exactly, but we spend every evening we can outside on the patio (which is barely patio-like: two office chairs, a long table that accommodates two people's computer spreads, television/apple tv, heater under the table low-rent-kontatsu-style). I've heated the hot tub but it may be a little cold out to actually use it, with me sick already, but I might put my feet in for a bit.

    My favorite tradition these days is a monthly lunch meeting with my husband and two friends to indulge our love of chain restaurants. I think we've missed maybe one month in a year, which is astounding for Los Angeles, and is pretty much the only time I ever see those friends so I really look forward to it.
    posted by Lyn Never at 7:49 PM on February 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

    "Every Christmastime, we get a new ornament, "

    Awww, we have a similar one! Every child gets a new ornament each year for Christmas that reflects their interests/achievements over the prior year. (Thank God for Etsy, I don't know where else I would have found a minecraft creeper in a santa hat ornament!) We write their name and year on the back or bottom. Then, 25ish years later, when you move out and get your own first Christmas tree, mom presents you with a box with your 25 years of ornaments so your tree does not look sad and empty!

    My parents started this because one of their favorites gifts when they got married was a Christmas tree skirt and a box of ornaments their college friends selected, so their very first Christmas tree already had sentimental ornaments. Now we do it for our kids, and we've added getting ornaments on all our family trips ... although this does mean a lot of our "ornaments" are actually "keychains."

    (This year, Mini McGee got a ninja ornament (he takes American Ninja Warrior-type classes); Micro McGee got a Mars Rover ornament; and Nano McGee got a "baby's first Christmas" Winnie the Pooh ornament since her interests are mostly milk right now.)
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:50 PM on February 25, 2017 [9 favorites]

    Whenever my brother and I got good report cards (which was always), my father would give us money to spend however we wanted at a bookstore, and my parents would often drive us to the "good" bookstore an hour or so away. I still find going into bookstores to be celebratory. I spent part of my 40th birthday petting books at Powell's.
    posted by lazuli at 7:54 PM on February 25, 2017 [15 favorites]

    I am totally going to crib that tradition, Eyebrows! That sounds amazing!
    posted by corb at 7:56 PM on February 25, 2017

    My sister was born on Valentine's day. My mom had heart-shaped bundt pans for that. Sis'll be here tomorrow and I've made the cake. I suspect we'll cry in a good way.
    posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:56 PM on February 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

    From the time my three kids were old enough to eat solid food until they went to college and now when they return, every Sunday night was milkshake night. I would make a chocolate milkshake after dinner as the cap of a fun weekend (or long weekend of toddler tantrums) and the start of a school work week. My slightly naive son texted me from college the first week and said that they had no milkshakes at the dining hall on Sunday and he thought everyone had that.

    Anyway, remember, Sunday nights are (chocolate) milkshake nights.
    posted by AugustWest at 8:01 PM on February 25, 2017 [29 favorites]

    lazuli--my parents also did the "books as rewards" thing! Not so much for report cards, but if they wanted to give me a special treat we would go to our town's little independent bookstore and I would get to pick a couple of books. The bookstore was downtown and upstairs from the drugstore and I remember it as being huge, but in reality it was probably the size of a large living room.
    I remember being excited when I would find a new Judy Blume paperback that I'd never read. Bookstores are just the best!
    posted by bookmammal at 8:08 PM on February 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

    Bookstores *are* the best! I wandered through one today and it made me happy. As does your username, bookmammal!
    posted by lazuli at 8:12 PM on February 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

    For about the past six months our cat has had a morning ritual of standing on the end of the bed and demanding to be picked up and carried around while one or both of us is getting dressed. Many of my mornings therefore begin with my cat draped across my shoulders as I try to take care of things without her slipping and digging in with her claws to stay on.
    posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 8:14 PM on February 25, 2017 [9 favorites]

    Every year when I was growing up, my mom would make a special birthday cake with the birthday child. My mom is an amazing cook and they were frequently special trains or rabbits or whatever. My kids aren't both as into it but I love making a special cake for them that they pick out.
    posted by bq at 8:15 PM on February 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

    Whenever we go in vacation, we buy an ornament for our Christmas tree so each year decorating is spent remembering the great adventures we've taken together. We have beluga whales from then Atlanta aquarium, pandas from the San Diego zoo, a ship filled with tea and Christmas lights from Boston, a small framed print of a Monet watercolor from France, a Shakespeare quill from London, etc etc. it's such a nice trip down memory lane when trimming our tree together as a family.

    " oh! Remember when I saw the barricuda in the Bahamas? And then I refused to go back in the water?" "Remember when we were hiding our McDonald's on the elevator and the English guy sniffed and had this look of astonishment that Americans really do smell like McDonald's?" "Oh gosh, remember when I gave you the wrong directions in Hawaii and we accidentally ended up driving down a mountain water runoff path and had to build a rock ramp to be able to get over a deep drainage ditch?"

    My parents started this tradition when my sister and I were little and it's so great to look back on all the fun trips and (mis)adventures during the holiday season when looking at my parents Christmas tree.
    posted by Suffocating Kitty at 8:27 PM on February 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

    I have been very lucky the past two years to have joined a New Year's day tradition that revolves around watching the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy while eating all of the hobbit meals. This year there were several requests for my Dutch Apple Baby breakfast that I have been making at nearly every gathering that involves a breakfast. And some people expressed some trepidation/sadness when I suggested that maybe first breakfast might be something else. Maybe something bundt shaped? I made the big poofy oven pancakes. There was rejoicing.

    I am also gearing up for the third summer of sharing a CSA box with someone every Tuesday. Last summer was the first time we embarked on canning and it is so so nice to be able to give someone a jar of fancy beets, or zucchini relish. We're out of apple sauce but there are still plenty of bourbon cherries. The jams and conserves have been amazing in oatmeal this winter. Not having to eat everything from the share all in one week is nice too. That was pretty overwhelming the first summer.
    posted by bilabial at 8:28 PM on February 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

    I used to have a large Solstice gathering in my old back yard. We had a bonfire, and barbecue, and sometimes 40 people or more. People would bring, written on white paper, an attribute or habit they wanted to discontinue in the new year. They would read the paper, and throw it on the fire. Then they would throw a handful of spices on the fire, to send up the wishes for the new year. We hung out in the back yard, in the snow, by the fire, ate a big dinner, and it went on for many pleasant hours, for many pleasant years. One year a man brought two pages of things he wanted to change, and read, and burned them.
    posted by Oyéah at 8:31 PM on February 25, 2017 [10 favorites]

    When playing Boggle with my brother, if the word "toe" appears on the board, it's mandatory that you shout "TOE!" as soon as you see it.
    posted by moonmilk at 9:12 PM on February 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

    I am half-watching Versailles on Netflix as I mod, and this is basically exactly like if Scooby Doo told the story of the Sun King. It is SO BAD. But awesomely bad.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:03 PM on February 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

    I love so many of our traditions here, actually. I've always loved MeFi meetups, which are an amazing tradition, and another of my favorite traditions was the MeFiSwaps carsonb used to organize. But I hadn't experienced Secret Quonsar until this year, and it is most definitely one of my favorite traditions now.
    posted by limeonaire at 10:21 PM on February 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

    Our city neighborhood has a tradition of getting a permit to close off one block of a street and having a collective BBQ party for each of the summer holidays (Memorial, Independence and Labor Days). I don't know how long it's been going on since we've "only"* lived here for ten years but it's a chance to sit on lawn chairs in the middle of the street and eat great food and drink until you toddle home. The neighborhood group pays for the beer, wine and meat and every family brings salad, side-dish or dessert.
    posted by octothorpe at 5:02 AM on February 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

    lazuli, your comment reminded me of all the presents I received from my parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles that consisted of going with me to my favorite bookstore, telling me the monetary limit, and then letting me go wild. Those were fun times, and I sometimes wish I could recapture the thrill of getting the best deal from a fixed budget in adulthood.

    Other traditions. My dad's side of the family is Christian while my mom's side is Hindu, so we celebrated festivals from both religions, though not always consistently. Christmas was a big deal, usually at my grandmother's house. She would start the process of baking Christmas cake months in advance with soaking the dried fruit in booze. I always got to lick the boozy mixing bowls once the cakes were in the oven.

    Diwali involved much bursting of crackers and good food. My mother had a weakness for the really giant strings of crackers that went on for ever, so we would usually get a 5000 wala and on one memorable occasion a 10000 wala. I really preferred the rockets and crackers that burst in pretty patterns in the sky, so I pushed for those. The excitement of being out on Diwali night along with the rest of the city as the skies exploded with fire could not be beat. Though of course the streets were a mess for a bit after that.

    Another Hindu festival was Golu, where each house set up stairs with figurines of gods and goddesses and sometimes just dolls on each stair. My favorite part was always the little scenes set up in sand, like secular nativity scenes - a beach, a farm, a playground. Whatever you wanted. Then the women and girls of the neighborhood would dress up to visit each house to admire the arrangements and be fed much good food.
    posted by peacheater at 6:04 AM on February 26, 2017 [10 favorites]

    My husband and I have no kids; therefore, our holidays are spent traveling to the houses that do have kids. And the leftovers rules have changed between my grandparents' generation and my parents' generation. When my grandparents hosted, everyone got leftovers to bring home with them. Subsequent generation's hosts keep all leftovers. I spent years grousing about the lack of Black Friday turkey sandwiches, and then about 7 years ago I decided to do something about it.

    So on a random Sunday between Thanksgiving and New Years, misterussell and I have "Little Thanksgiving" when we do our own holiday meal. We make a too-big turkey, all of the sides we love (and none of those we don't), bake bread, make a pie, and sit down at our own table with our own music playing and nobody else's timetable. Mistime a side so it finishes cooking after dinner? No big. And we have leftovers for days. Long live Little Thanksgiving!
    posted by kimberussell at 6:43 AM on February 26, 2017 [18 favorites]

    My childhood best friend and I have a nice tradition: we always email each other on or near our birthdays. Mine's in May, hers is in November. We don't otherwise communicate much, our lives are different, we've seen each other maybe twice in the last 25 years, but writing every 6 months keeps us in touch and keeps the memory of the old days going, and enables us to share a closeness that doesn't feel like a burden.
    posted by JanetLand at 6:51 AM on February 26, 2017 [5 favorites]

    Ethical Culture colloquies.
    posted by audi alteram partem at 7:17 AM on February 26, 2017

    We do the ornament thing (the travel memento and the ornaments for the kids for their future trees), and we have a ton of traditions tied up specifically with Christmas. We drive out to the same tree farm every year to cut down our tree, we eat in the same diner on the way home, we have Chinese food and watch A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve, etc.

    Our friends throw a themed New Year's Eve party every year for the past...I think we're on year 24? Costumes encouraged, and they decorate the inside and outside of the house. This year was ocean voyage themed, from the 30s, and they made a gangplank that went over their front steps. One year there was a crashed plane on the front lawn. Stuff like that. Super fun. But my favorite part is the brunch they have the next day. All the kids get to come (the NYE party is strictly over 21) and we take a group picture before everyone scatters for the day. We've watched the kids go from babies to college and it's bittersweet and lovely. And we all help clean up from the night before. We've taken recently to going to a movie afterward. Love it.
    posted by cooker girl at 8:07 AM on February 26, 2017 [4 favorites]

    "Every Christmastime, we get a new ornament, "

    I misread this as, ""Every Christmastime, we get a new armament," and for a moment I thought I had found my people.

    We don't actually have a yearly armament tradition, but I am kind of liking the idea.
    posted by Dip Flash at 9:12 AM on February 26, 2017 [4 favorites]

    I spent part of my 40th birthday petting books at Powell's.

    We have more than they do (my store anyway). We might find petting books weird....or maybe not, it's New York.
    posted by jonmc at 9:21 AM on February 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

    One of the things I like about living in a ruralish location is that there are a lot of neighborhood traditions that you can join in to. In my neighborhood we have the

    - New Year's Eve party that Forrest and Kelly do
    - Equinox Brunch that Larry and Jenny do
    - Memorial Day driveway BBQ at Hannah and Brendan's
    - 4th of July parade watch by Kelly's house and then retire to the Westbrooks for pie
    - Labor Day I often have people to my place in MA, it's usually near my birthday
    - December 6 is not_on_display and bondcliff and maryr's birthday so we all do a thing together
    - Solstice Bonfire at Abbe and Jerry's
    - Christmas Eve Chinese food with my sister and Jim
    - Christmas I watch movies with my sister and we have an open door policy (people rarely show, was great to see ursus_comiter this year)

    My sister and I also have a not-Thanksgiving tradition we call Fakesgiving which is a lot like kimberrussel's description.

    If I had a favorite, it's the bonfire because we do the same "write a thing you want to get rid of" routine and I always find it a great year end ritual.
    posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:24 AM on February 26, 2017 [4 favorites]

    Alright, so this is all a bit Man Cave writ large, but every March/April my friends and I have our annual Retro Night (now Retro Day) where we all get together and play old 8/16-bit computer/video games on creaky original hardware and catch up. Birthdays are important, everyone tries to turn up for those, but Retro Day is near-sacrosanct (I exaggerate for effect, natch). In recent years we've added an actual trophy and rules, but the fundaments of the day are the same. Seeing friends who've moved away, playing the same (or similar) games to the ones we used to play (before some of us even knew each other!), a rare day of shameless recreation for those with big families, but mostly just being able to properly catch-up and spontaneously interact in a way that WhatsApp/email/etc doesn't quite cover. There may also be alcohol involved.

    Really looking forward to this years', but then I always am.
    posted by comealongpole at 9:32 AM on February 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

    I've just joined a tradition, a walk on Sundays with a couple I know. We went to a nice park today (Île Saint Germain), and am looking forward to keeping this going.
    posted by ellieBOA at 9:54 AM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

    Hm, I don't know if I'd call it a tradition so much as a habit, but generally on Sundays I walk to the coffeeshop 6 blocks away, get something to go (they all know my name and order by now) and walk to the park another six blocks away. The park is almost always deserted no matter what the weather, even though it's nestled in the city. I bring my phone to read, and often times I see deer.

    Christmas tradition - my stepmom has us choose a craft that everyone can do, and we work on that before dinner and gift opening. We've made ornaments, mini-Christmas trees, snow globes and wreaths. However, we're no longer on speaking terms so I guess that's over.

    Friend tradition - we generally go to one of two bars, though not on a regular basis. Hm, probably a lot of people do that.
    posted by AFABulous at 10:53 AM on February 26, 2017

    I misread this as, ""Every Christmastime, we get a new armament," and for a moment I thought I had found my people.

    This is kind of embarrassing, but my husband is nearly impossible to get stocking stuffers for. Hates candy and gimmicky stuff. Finally, one year out of desperation I shoved a box of fancy ammo in there and prepared to defend myself. He was thrilled and has insisted every Christmas stocking of his contain some form of ammo ever since.
    posted by corb at 11:24 AM on February 26, 2017 [14 favorites]

    My parents & talkative daughter live far away, & my son, who is a lovable & sweet kid, is a person of few words, who spends most of his time in his room, so it's down to me, the wife & the dog.

    Back in about 2007, We took up watching the Spurs & quickly got sucked into basketball as a pastime, & we both have a real fondness for the team announcers, the hokey local advertisers & the whole spectacle. One impediment to our enjoyment of a game, however, was our young (at the time) black lab mix, who would stand in front of the TV with his "Hey, what about meee?" look & wagging tail. Majorly distracting. So after a few games of me admonishing him to lie down & he dejectedly complying, I got him some raw hide chews to distract him. In short order, he learned to associate the sound of the FSSW theme music, the voices of Bill Land & Sean Elliott, & related cheering on the TV as indicators that he was about to receive a rawhide chew, HIS FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD.

    So now, when it's game time, we fire up the TV, the dog dances & cavorts & whines until we get him his treat, then we all settle in -- us on the couch, & the dog at our feet eagerly devouring his sports bone, & everything in the world is as it should be.
    posted by Devils Rancher at 11:59 AM on February 26, 2017 [11 favorites]

    There was a time when GRARING-hour here on MetaTalk was a fuzzy social event with a lot of humor. On Friday afternoon...
    posted by Namlit at 12:02 PM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

    - December 6 is not_on_display and bondcliff and maryr's birthday so we all do a thing together

    Yes! This has become one of my favorite things. I never really did much about my birthday until we started doing it. Four of us born on the same day (with me and n_o_d the same year and maryr and my friend vivian also on the same year a few years after us) with various spouses and sisters and moms and whatnot joining us.

    I highly recommend same-day birthday clubs.
    posted by bondcliff at 12:12 PM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

    My mom used to make a pan of fudge, and pour it into a wide, shallow platter to cool. All six of us (mom & dad included) would grab teaspoons and eat it while it was still really too warm. The singed tongue was just part of the deal, of making sure that you got your fair share.

    I should make some fudge.
    posted by wenestvedt at 1:14 PM on February 26, 2017 [4 favorites]

    Eyebrows McGee: Every child gets a new ornament each year for Christmas that reflects their interests/achievements over the prior year.

    We do this, too. They open them on Christmas Eve.

    It's important to label the ornaments with the name and year because with kids some things are passions and some are...less than permanent.
    posted by wenestvedt at 1:18 PM on February 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

    In my family, when we're labeling Christmas presents we don't actually put who a present is from. Instead it's always from someone famous or fictional or a weird phrase or pun, possibly something that is in the zeitgiest at the moment, and that is somehow relevant to the gift itself if at all possible.

    So last year music was from David Bowie and Prince, I'm pretty sure my Lush bath bombs were from "Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh BATH BOMB!", my books on feminism were from Kathleen Hannah and "I'm Still With Her", etc. I gave my husband a board game that was from "The Cones of Dunshire." I'm pretty sure there were a few from Vladmir Putin and Donald Trump's Small Hands as well.
    posted by supercrayon at 1:37 PM on February 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

    Yes! We have semi-random gift exchanges (everyone hates Christmas but we often wind up having gotten each other something small that made us think of the other) and my sister's cats are notorious for giving the worst presents imaginable so everyone groans when you pick up a present and it's from Sgt. Charley Preston.
    posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:49 PM on February 26, 2017 [7 favorites]

    This is too new really to count as a tradition yet, but my family has started going to the zoo on Christmas Day (or New Year's Day if we're away at Christmas). Our local zoo is walking distance away, open every day of the year, and a generally nice, fairly quiet, interesting place to spend Christmas without being too drowned in tinsel. Also if you time it right you get to see the chimps open their Christmas presents.

    This makes up for our first festive-tradition failure as parents, where we couldn't decide whether to call the man who brings the presents "Father Christmas" (my family's tradition) or "Santa" (my husband's family's), and took so long to get our act together on this that our toddler decided herself on "Reindeer Man".
    posted by Catseye at 2:02 PM on February 26, 2017 [17 favorites]

    On the winter solstice every year I go see the Christmas Revels. As a kid I was fascinated with Victorian Christmas traditions and I badly wanted to go. Now I do.

    Gentleman Caller frequently wakes me up with "Doctor Worm" by They Might Be Giants.
    posted by pxe2000 at 2:19 PM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

    A good friend of mine, that I met through twitter, we've recently started to see each other once a year for a nerdy hangout filled with food, drinks, books, and museum trips. We're separated by about 4 hours. So we meet in the middle for the weekend. We each have this really cheap tumbler glass that we picked up at the $1.00 store that we bring so that we can drink expensive scotch while sitting in a hotel and watching bad reality television. We go out to dinner really drunk and then the next day we walk around in a haze and find a book store and just sit. It's this kind of perfect once a year hang out. I'm already thinking about this year. November cannot get her soon enough.
    posted by Fizz at 2:24 PM on February 26, 2017 [9 favorites]

    When I was a kid, we were not allowed to watch TV during the week - we had to concentrate on homework and afterschool activities and whatnot. We also had dinner together as a family around the table every evening. The exception to this was Friday. After school on Fridays, MomFreedom would order pizza, or heat up a TV dinner, or make grilled cheese or something. We got to drink Sprite instead of milk. AND we got to eat dinner while watching a movie. We'd either rent something from the Blockbuster or just re-watch one of our many Disney movies; we had the whole collection of clamshell VHS boxes. Then on Saturday morning, we got to watch cartoons.

    Man, the idea of those TV dinners sounds disgusting to me now, you know the ones, like with the brownie baked into one of the sections of the tray? But man they were the highlight of my week, that and watching The Little Mermaid for the billionth time.
    posted by chainsofreedom at 2:33 PM on February 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

    We had an Autumn wedding, so for our anniversary every year, my wife and I go apple picking, along with maybe whatever else the U-Pick orchard we end up going to has to do. The first time we did it, we came back with a ton of apples and I had to google all kinds of recipes that used apples, so I have a decent repertoire of things to do with the apples once we get them. There is a high demand for apple-cheddar sconces, but apple butter and a pie usually happen too. One time when we were in Wisconsin, the orchard had a newer variety of apple (maybe a pizaz?) that was so huge it only took 3 and a half apples to make a pie.

    After picking, we also sometimes hit a brewery. This year, we stopped at three.
    posted by LionIndex at 2:38 PM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

    - December 6 is not_on_display and bondcliff and maryr's birthday so we all do a thing together

    December 7th is my and Nala's birthday; it was also my college roommate's birthday, the end of the term, and almost Hannukah. So back in our first year of school, we started the annual Tri-Birthday-End-of-Semester-Winter-Holiday-Spectacular; my husband and I have kept up the tradition (since I'm in academia, and end of semesters are still things to celebrate).
    posted by damayanti at 2:55 PM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

    Sunday evening is catlap time in chez should. It seems to be the only time the human pauses and sits on the sofa with a glass of wine. Ms Nibs will contentedly adorn the human while exchanging pets for purrs.

    Overall a quite excellent tradition.

    The two monsters who also claim residency at chez should are often enjoying the privilege of the outdoor kitty kompound in hopes of spying lizzards to harass or birds to watch.

    If our weather is good, the dutchess and human will forego the sofa and, instead, join the monsters outside.
    posted by mightshould at 3:40 PM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

    "open every day of the year"

    This is one of my top tips for parents of toddlers in snowy regions ... the zoo is open every. day. even when the weather is terrible because lions demand feeding every. day. So when you have a high-energy toddler or a tireless new walker, head to the zoo, where they've shoveled paths to the major animal enclosures, so they can feed them. Your other choices are mostly unshoveled parks, the mall, and chaotic indoor child play spaces that cost a fortune and make you want to murder everyone. We got a family zoo membership which paid for itself in three or four visits of not buying tickets, plus then you get to go to special meet-the-animal events an hour before official opening and discounts on zoo camp and special cocktail hours with the zebras (really) and so on.

    I spent a LOT of my boys' toddler winters at the zoo letting them run from one enclosure to the next while I trudged along behind glancing at the animals and getting to stop to look whenever the toddler decided to spin in circles for a while. I got to know almost all the zoo employees and I have special skills like I know all the rhinos' names and I can tell them apart. I also have a special fondness for the various cold-weather animals who think that 0 degrees is frolicking weather, so like I'm down with the Sichuan Takins and the Amur Tigers.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:05 PM on February 26, 2017 [12 favorites]

    ooh! I just started a new tradition! An honest-to-goodness, through-the-mail penpal. It gave me a reason to color at work today. Here's the header and the footer of the letter, which is about 7 accordion folds long (14 sections). It was a very cathartic experience, and receiving mail is always such a fun experience.
    posted by FirstMateKate at 4:27 PM on February 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

    Sometime after my wife and I became an established couple, we started playing this kind of absurdist "what if?" game. One of us would point to a ridiculous piece of furniture in a store or an ostentatious work of art or something, and say, "What if...." (pausing for dramatic effect, and to get the other to smile) "...the first time you came over to my house, the only piece of furniture in it were that one?" You get the picture.

    We still play it, but six years after that first date, both of us are more likely to answer with, "I would have NOPED out of there so fast!"
    posted by emelenjr at 4:46 PM on February 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

    My favorite family tradition, started as a kid, is that you get to choose whatever you want for dinner on the night of your birthday. I always choose French fries and steak. :) Make it every year.
    posted by sockermom at 6:54 PM on February 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

    Also if you time it right you get to see the chimps open their Christmas presents.

    Dude, what?! How has this not been a FPP yet?!?!
    posted by wenestvedt at 7:20 PM on February 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

    This is less of a tradition and more of a repeated activity, but there's a city park in driving distance that has a small farmlet on it, with a great big sow, some chickens, a few sheep, some ponies, some rabbits, a small cow, and two of the fattest goats you've ever seen. My twins are about two and a half now, and regularly ask to "go see animals." The pig sleeps all the time, and they love to stand and listen to her snore (and now they tease their granddad when he falls asleep in the easy chair and snores, asking him if he's "making a piggie"). The goats are crazy about getting scratches on their heads and necks. And there's a super fancy rooster with feathery feet who has a Napoleon complex because he's smaller than all the hens, so he scoots around trying to puff himself up all the time. Oh yeah, and two fat barn cats that just laze around the yard. We're there probably every weekend and during the week once or twice.
    posted by Existential Dread at 9:38 PM on February 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

    Chimp Christmas-present opening involves a lot of flying wrapping paper. (They get cardboard tubes stuffed with veg/fruit.) Other Christmas stuff the zoo has done: Santa among the lemurs, Panda Christmas tree cake, penguin stocking-filled fireplace.

    We got a zoo membership when we moved here and it has absolutely repaid itself x1000. Brilliant brilliant thing, and makes the whole experience of visiting with young child a lot less stressful, because you can just hang around for the length of toddler tolerance then go without feeling like you need to get your money's worth and trudging round all day in the rain with set faces and bloody determination that you're GOING to see a zebra, damn it.
    posted by Catseye at 10:32 PM on February 26, 2017 [6 favorites]

    "the chimps open their Christmas presents."

    At our local zoo they give the black-handed spider monkeys copies of Vogue and other fashion magazines, ideally with perfume inserts, and the monkeys are like OMG SCENTS and also OMG PICTURES OF APES and also OMG I CAN TEAR THIS TO SHREDS and basically it is non-stop hilarity if you're a monkey-watcher and they get the fashion magazines. Eventually they get bored and go eat oranges, but you have never seen a model spend more time with Vogue than the monkeys do.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:36 PM on February 26, 2017 [15 favorites]

    My cousin, Dave, and I go out to lunch every couple of weeks. We always go to the same place and have the same thing, a blackened salmon sandwich. We each eat 1/2 and take the rest home. Later we email each other how long we made it till we ate the second half. Just the time, nothing else is needed. 5:45.
    One time when I didn't make it long I did get a reply. "What did you do, eat it on the way home in the car?"
    posted by BoscosMom at 12:59 AM on February 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

    I accidentally started a new tradition with my two nieces, who are 5 and 7, about 18 months ago. I mind them one night a week after work to cover the shift between my sister going out to work and her husband coming home, and I do their homework with them and give them their dinner. There was one evening when this started that they were being a bit reluctant to eat and messing around, and so I made up a little game where we would have a competition to see who took the most bites of their dinner. I just got a pen and an envelope lying around and counted in tally marks, and told them they could do their own "line across the gate" every 5th bite, and suddenly they were really keen to keep going. The next week they said "Can we do the counting game again?" so I said ok, got another piece of paper, and off we went.

    Now it has evolved into this whole thing we do every week. While I set the table one of them chooses a piece of their drawing paper as the scorecard, one colour marker each for me to do their lines, and a couple of colours each for them to do their lines for the 5th bite. They each write their name across the top, one on each side, and decorate the names with stickers. They do their lines in various ways - scrolls, stars, hearts, or just alternating coloured lines, and generally they have a little discussion about what way they're going to do their lines this week. They always ask for second helpings now, and so when I'm in the kitchen getting one of them some more the other one "is Auntie bee" and counts the other's bites as my deputy. Adjudication is sometimes necessary to decide what is a proper bite and what is really a tiny crumb, and while the eldest one sometimes has bread with hers the youngest one doesn't, so that's not counted in the bites as it represents an unfair advantage. If one of them gets distracted by telling me a story or playing with their food the other one will point out that they now have an opportunity to "steal bites" which is generally enough to re-motivate their competitor. When they've finished we count up the scores and they write them on the bottom of their side of the scorecard, and decorate the scores with whatever embellishments they feel like. Last week the little one won for the first time (I keep telling her that taking the biggest bite possible doesn't really help her out - her sister is wiser as to the little and often strategy) and she was delighted, and as I was doing the dishes she was sitting at the dining table, finishing decorating every inch of the page while the other had gone off to watch tv. She was quietly singing along to Katy Perry "My favourite singer" when I heard her voice float in: "Auntie bee?" "Yes love?" "How do you spell winner and loser?" I laughed and said "You can't write loser on your sister's side!" "Ok." Pause. "But how do you spell it?" I wouldn't tell her but I told her how to spell winner, and that was enough to please her.

    This probably all sounds like total nonsense from the outside, but I just love that this is our wee thing - they don't play it with anyone else - and that it has taken on a life of its own with its own protocols and language. I know there'll come a day when they don't want to play it any more, but in the meantime both their inner competitors keeps it fun for them, and dinner time is happy and easy and I never have any problems getting them to eat. So I think I'm the real winner. The End.
    posted by billiebee at 4:50 AM on February 27, 2017 [25 favorites]

    My extended family on my mom's side has a long-running tradition (probably since my mom was a child) that, on birthday cakes, the birthday person's age is represented in some not-immediately-obvious way, making it a puzzle for the birthday person to work out how the candles represent their age, ideally before they blow out the candles. The puzzle is typically tailored to the age of the guest of honor, so e.g. young ones get easier puzzles, while the ones for adults can run towards the devious.
    posted by Chuck Carroll at 7:39 AM on February 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

    My sweetie and I have a thing where if one of us says something particularly funny, we write it down on a Stickie note and put it on the kitchen wall. It's gotten pretty full. There's lots of in-jokes, so it tends to be pretty incomprehensible to anyone else (e.g., "It's OK, I was just yelling at my pants").

    Anytime I need a good laugh, all I need to do is look at that wall.
    posted by jammy at 8:22 AM on February 27, 2017 [10 favorites]

    When I was a kid, we used to walk to Rick's on the corner of Walnut and El Molino in Pasadena for dinner on Thursdays, timed to get home exactly in time for The Simpsons at 8 on Thursdays. My order was two bean tacos and a large fries, and sometimes a Coke. We took the dogs, and they'd always insist on stopping to look over the ledge when we crossed over the 210 to watch all the cars-- not something you'd expect from dogs.

    Rick's is a hole in the ground due to gentrification, I live in a place without hard-shell non-shmancy tacos in walking distance, I have no more family in Pasadena, and The Simpsons has been unwatchably terrible for at least 15 years. I still treasure this experience, so thanks for reminding me.
    posted by blnkfrnk at 9:17 AM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

    The mushy gooey cards, complete with glitter and hearts, my husband gives me for Valentine's Day and my birthday. I have them stuck all over my dresser mirror.
    posted by bearwife at 9:24 AM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

    Every morning, I get up, and after my shower & getting dressed, I go and hang out with the bunny. He comes over for scratches, and sometimes even gets up in the chair with me, and I will generally read on my phone or nook. Sometimes he isn't very interested in me, but I still think he enjoys the company. I hang out for 15-20 minutes, and then start the rest of my day.
    posted by needlegrrl at 10:22 AM on February 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

    My wife and I each draw a Pokemon on our son's napkin for his kindergarten lunches. I even printed off a checklist, so we don't repeat ourselves, so now we pick names for each-other to draw at random Downside: he doesn't use his napkins.

    On birthdays, at bedtime we say "Good night, [current age]." In the morning, we greet the birthday person by saying "Good morning, [new age]." My parents started this with me and my brother.

    When we were kids, our family went to the same place every summer, we'd go to Hume Lake, to the same cabin, for a week. We'd go on little day trips around the area, playing in creeks or on short hikes, and lots of time on the sandy beach end, swimming in a closed off section of the lake (Google maps), where there's a big log floating in the water (someone else's family photo, from this blog page). In the evenings, we'd walk down the road to the little restaurant on the other end of the lake, which may now be the Hume Lake Snack Shop (Google maps). Once there, we'd always order a slice of pie each. We called this our "pie walk."
    posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM on February 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

    My friend group has had a December Lovecraft themed stocking exchange / potluck for more than 20 years. I've made everyone novelty stockings that reflect their geeky interests. We put the stocking in a separate room, and everyone takes a turn going there to put geeky/weird/stupid/childish/cheap stuff into the stockings.

    We started out with 9 stockings, we were up to 22 this last year. Only one couple had kids and they now have one grandchild, so we've reproduced mostly through role-playing games and new S.O.s. Especially for S.Os they just get a loaner stocking the first year until they are proven to stick around I know them well enough to customize one.

    We sing Lovecraftian holiday carols, and have dramatic readings of Lovecraftian children's books (Where's my Shoggoth is the all time favorite).

    In our younger more energetic days we had amazing centerpieces such as a gingerbread cultist's temple with marzipan sacrifice scene. Now we tend towards expensive fancy thing from a bakery with no theme tie-in.
    posted by buildmyworld at 12:27 PM on February 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

    Whenever I play Trivial Pursuit with my extended family (uncles, cousins, grandmother), we have weird color-based names for the pie pieces: gang-green, pink and pretty, orange you glad, brown and stinky, mellow yellow. But not blue. We don't have a name for blue. We've tried various names: sky blue, you've got the blues, but none have stuck. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THIS CAME FROM OR WHY WE DO IT. We also use the rule that you can get a pie piece on any square so the game doesn't take hours.

    And whenever we play the Kevin Bacon Game (um...we play it a lot), if you really want to challenge the other person, you say they can't use "The Robert DeNiro Path." Otherwise, DeNiro, Sleepers, you can link almost anyone.

    We also do a special Christmas ornament every year. I have an ornament from our first married Christmas, an ornament from the first vacation we took together, from the city where we got married, a mommy-to-be ornament from the year I was pregnant, SEVERAL first Christmas ornaments for my son, and we commissioned a Curious George ornament for him this year because that's what he loves this year.
    posted by Aquifer at 12:32 PM on February 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

    My wife and I have an ongoing tradition where we give each other the wrong card for each occasion, the more wrong, the better. My birthday? Bat mizvah card. Mother's Day? Happy 3rd birthday card. You have to be sharp to keep finding new wrong occasions to draw from without going over the line, as I did the year I sent her a condolences card for our anniversary.

    But still, on the whole, it's been good for some grins.
    posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:11 PM on February 27, 2017 [17 favorites]

    - December 6 is not_on_display and bondcliff and maryr's birthday so we all do a thing together

    I refer to it as Birthday Club so that my other friends feel more left out. I mean, don't. Don't feel left out.
    posted by maryr at 1:29 PM on February 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

    My wife and I have an ongoing tradition where we give each other the wrong card for each occasion

    When I graduated high school I got a lot of cards and well wishes and things that were appropriately sappy and 'you're all grown up now, go conquer the world'. Then I opened a card from a goofy band friend of mine who is both a genius and wacky as all get out. It was a teddy bear holding balloons that said "So You're 4!!!" What he wrote inside had no sap and all heart. It's the only card I remember 20+ years later and I've done the same to other people at various times since. It's a really dumb thing but he was one of the only people who really got me then and I'll never forget that card.
    posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:56 PM on February 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

    For ten years or so now Mrs. Bringer and I have observed New Year's by staying up to watch the time roll over on time dot gov, the official US National Institute of Standards time site. We have the champaigne ready and toast when the year changes. Until recently we traded off doing it at her or my computer, but now we have a tablet serving as a media server so we can watch the spectacle unfold on our TV set.
    posted by Bringer Tom at 5:15 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

    At Powell House, a Quaker retreat center, the youth groups dance a delightful dance to (the most excellent) Miriam Makeba's Pata Pata. PoHo, as it's affectionately known, has many traditions. Someday I'll make an FPP about the place and smoke out all the cool Friends from upstate NY.
    posted by 4th number at 5:44 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

    My dad always makes coffee for my mom first thing in the morning, which in itself is a lovely ritual (and he makes it for me too when I stay over!). But my favorite tradition practitioner has always been my childhood cat, who for years would wait patiently at the bedroom door for my mom to receive her coffee before jumping up on the bed so they could read the paper together.
    posted by ferret branca at 7:20 PM on February 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

    I just found out that both Larry Coryell and Judge Wapner both passed away within the last week and nobody (including me) noticed. Sad.


    (raises glass)
    posted by jonmc at 7:56 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

    posted by lazuli at 8:52 PM on February 27, 2017

    Yeah, somewhere Raymond Babbit is inconsolable.
    posted by jonmc at 8:58 PM on February 27, 2017

    The first time my friend and I did acid together, we each got a 750ml bottle of some fancy, high-alcohol beer to drink at the end as an endcap. We did that, and that's how we learned that (at least in our case) you do not get drunk when you drink on acid. So now we still buy those bottles (not the same type every time, but the bottle size and the booziness are constants) and at the end we say nonsense to each other and do not get drunk on our beers together. It's still remarkably satisfying.
    posted by invitapriore at 10:34 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

    Little late to this... but rather than just eat in front of the TV with the kids at the end of the week, we have PILLOW FORT FRIDAYS. Honestly, I think if one thing makes a tough week better - its knowing that on Friday night, there will be a movie, something simple to eat and a gigantic and involved pillow fort in the living room. We coopted this from a family at my son's karate... please, coopt it from us - especially if you don't have kids.

    Oh, and the best way to ruin friendships over cards is with enhanced rules for hearts. #1. Allow hearts to be broken on the first hand. #2. The Jack of Diamonds is worth -10 (and keep negative score as necessary). #3. You must talk shit when (a) dropping the queen on someone after successfully shorting your hand, (b) trolling the room for the queen and forcing someone to eat it (c) saving the queen drop for jack of diamonds (d) avoiding the queen and stiffing someone who had the A, K, or Q of diamonds with it - doubly talk shit if on the next hand you keep you J of Diamonds (d) shoot the moon once in a game (e) shoot the moon twice in a game (f) shoot the moon in consecutive hands. Last tradition of hearts is to always tell someone how much you care about them as you are passing the cards (Lef,t Right, Across) - on the hold hand it is alright to talk to yourself.
    posted by Nanukthedog at 12:55 AM on February 28, 2017 [8 favorites]

    My dad always makes coffee for my mom first thing in the morning

    I do this too. Chemex, yo
    posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:18 AM on February 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

    Whenever Jessamyn and I are driving around anywhere, whenever one of us spots any small structure resembling a house – smokehouses, storage huts, booths, chickencoops... if it resembles a house and it's really tiny, we will point and say,

    "That's my house."

    This is one of my favorite things, ever.
    posted by not_on_display at 7:27 PM on March 1, 2017 [4 favorites]

    Part of the house game is also making up little stories.... "That's my house, yeah the little wishing well place. It doesn't look like much but we've excavated down three stories and ... you wouldn't guess that it has a movie theater in it would you? Lighting is a bit of a problem but we have all these fireflies in jars that do a pretty good job..."
    posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:18 AM on March 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

    Not for nothing, but having once been in a production of Fiddler on the Roof, I cannot help but start singing "Tradition!" every time I see this thread title. Sometimes, I even do the dance.
    posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:07 AM on March 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

    Part of the house game is also making up little stories...

    "Yeah, that's my house... it's tiny, but I sleep standing up, so it's OK. If you wanted to stay over some night, I'd gladly knock down the back wall so you can lay down. Mind you, it does get cold at night outside, but as you can see, I have plenty of hay and leaves to supplement the blanket. Which I don't use anyway, cause, I'll still be standing up when I'm asleep. I've kept the mattress very firm that way, against the wall..."
    posted by not_on_display at 1:07 PM on March 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

    Get a (small, imaginary) room, you two!
    posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:29 PM on March 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

    this IS our small imaginary room

    this is my house:
            /  \_-__\
            |[]| [] |
    i live in the room.

    posted by not_on_display at 9:53 PM on March 2, 2017 [8 favorites]

    My friends and I take turns hosting Monday night dinner. There are a few rules:

    --You can make whatever you want, fancy or not fancy, but there needs to be plenty of it (we usually gravitate to comfort food from various cultures, e.g. hot pot, chicken korma, pozole, tuna noodle casserole)
    --Only the host can invite extra guests
    --You only do dishes when it's at your house
    --Someone always brings Ritter Sport chocolate (we don't assign this but it somehow magically happens, and we now call ourselves the Ritter Sport Club and address each other as "Athlete")

    It's the most lovely thing, because most Mondays you get to look forward to a nice dinner that you didn't have to cook, and about once a month it's fun to make a nice dinner for your friends!
    posted by exceptinsects at 11:19 AM on March 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

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