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Family Tradition

Many families make traditions around Holidays. During Christmas some like to get matching pjs to sleep in every year so everyone wakes up dressed in the same outfit when they wake up to open presents.

For St. Patty’s Day you may get together in a cluster of green with family and friends to eat a good meal. Or you go around the table on Turkey Day and express your gratitude. Maybe at New Year’s you get with those you love, snuggle up  on the couch and watch the ball drop.

Those definitely count as family traditions. They meet the only 2 requisites:

1. It’s done with your family &

2. It happens every year. Consistency is key if you want to make a tradition last.

However, there are also family traditions that have nothing to do with holidays. Something that is true to you and your family alone. For example, I have a friend whose family has an anthem song. Whenever they hear We are a Family by Sister Sledge, they stop what they are doing, and they dance together. That’s their tradition.

I have another friend who takes his family on a hike every year, they pick a fall date and go hike a specific trail. He takes pictures of his two children on the same tree each year. It’s fun to look at his posts online and see how much the kids have grown. Their limbs are now longer than the tree’s. That is their family tradition.

When I was growing up. My mom would wake me and my brother up on a random morning and declare to us that we would not be going to school. My brother loved to hear those words. I liked going to school but when my mom said: “today is a Pereyra Holiday” I immediately forgot about my scholastic duties and a rush of excitement washed over me.

Pereyra Holidays consisted of packing mom’s purse with snacks, taking a taxi to the Beacon Train Station, and hopping on a train to Grand Central in NYC. We never knew what adventure we’d go on.  Would we go to a Museum and learn about our ancestors or huge ancient animals? Would we learn about the planets in our solar system in a planetarium? Would we have a picnic in Central Park and feed the pigeons? Would we go to Mars 2112, have aliens bring our orders and play games in the arcade? Or would we spend our time getting lost in the subway because mom would be so engrossed in a conversation with a friend that we’d miss our stop, several times!

No matter how we spent the day, one thing was certain, we’d have fun and we’d be together. Just the 3 of us. You see, my mother worked 2 jobs accumulating to 18-hour days. She’d run a daycare from 6am-4pm. Feed us, put us to bed, and then head to Dunkin Donuts for another 8 hours to make ends meet. She worked around the clock. These Pereyra Holidays were extra special because we got to be with mom.

Mom never wanted us to miss out on vacations, so she worked even harder to send my brother and me along on family vacations with my Tio, Tia, and cousins while she stayed home paying for our trips.

Pereyra Holidays were spontaneous, fun, and we got mom all to ourselves. That’s what made it most special.

Believe it or not, we still have Pereyra Holidays. This year was tough to do, but as soon as we are able to travel, best believe we are overdue for a Pereyra Holiday or two.

What family traditions do you have or are looking forward to implementing?

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