Family traditions are important, but sometimes it is hard to know how to begin when curating your own family traditions. In our home, some traditions are well defined – like getting to open your stocking on Christmas morning before breakfast, while others largely go unspoken but are somehow known like Friday night family movie night.

A few years ago, I attended my cousin’s bridal shower and was introduced to a beautiful family tradition that we have now have incorporated into our home. The idea behind the tradition is to honour someone’s special milestone or achievement around the dinner table by having them use a red plate that is tucked away and saved for this very purpose.

Our red plate has helped us celebrate new jobs, promotions, birthdays, report cards and retirements. As I sit here and write this, I am thinking that perhaps we should have started a little logbook to record all of its uses. I suppose there is no time like the present to begin!

In a world that at times is so fast-paced, we sometimes forget to take a moment and pause and acknowledge the people around us. The red plate tradition takes very little effort and yet the feeling you get when you are the one using it is quite significant. The red plate tradition has become my favourite bridal shower gift. This is the little poem that I include with the plate.

Red Plate

May today be one of many red letter days
Times you’ll remember in so many ways
This gift is a tradition for you to start
A gift of love, straight from the heart
On days that are special that you’ll want to recall
Set out the red plate to celebrate it all
Honour the person and their great feat
On this special plate, let them joyously eat
It may be a birthday, promotion or good grade
A Little League win or a wise choice that was made
May your years together as husband and wife
Bring you countless special days throughout your life
This wonderful times will come and go
Keep the red plate at the ready as your blessings flow

Author Unknown

What are some of your cherished family traditions? Please share your special ways to celebrate occasions below.