Family Traditions

Today is my birthday. I’m celebrating my life and how much I LOVE my life.

This morning I woke to a house full of homemade signs made by my children and grandchildren that said:


When I was a little girl Dad made these birthday signs in his draftsman/engineering handwriting with perfectly shaped letters and numbers. He placed them on windows, mirrors, kitchen cupboards and sometimes on our cars.

Dad’s 80 years old now and still making signs. But so are my children and grandchildren. They’ve learned this tradition from me and my Dad.

As you’re writing your novels, don’t forget to add tender family traditions to your stories. It’ll make your characters more three dimensional, and who knows, maybe your readers will continue your character’s traditions, too.

What family traditions are you showing your readers?

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  1. Robin says:

    A – Happy Birthday! I hope you’re enjoying your day!
    B – That is such a good suggestion. It’s such an easy way to make characters and their families feel more real.

  2. All kinds of farming experiences, as recently as this morning–too many to list right now.
    Glad you’re having a special day.

    • Wish we lived closer so my “farm” daughter and I could visit your farm. I’m sure you have wonderful stories to tell.

  3. Julia Reffner says:

    Great thoughts, I don’t think I’ve used any family traditions in my WIP but would like to add some.

    Have a great birthday!

    • Hi Julia! Thanks for stopping by and wishing me a great birthday. It’s been a wonderful day–lots of writing and relaxing. I love my life and the fact that I’m able to do what I love. Best, Michelle

  4. I was so excited to comment on this post…(intended to reflect a long self-conscious pause)…until I realized I had no family traditions represented in my novel yet. I’ll have to spend some time reflecting to come up with what I can for a dysfunctional family under the strict control of a megalomaniac.

    Great thoughts, though!

    P.S. Happy belated birthday!

    • Hi Lauren, and thanks for the belated birthday wishes. I’m celebrating all month so you’re not late. Ha!
      What is a megalomaniac? (Besides a new word in my vocabulary.) I need to look it up, don’t I?
      Sometimes, even in the most dysfunctional families, there are family traditions. But making them natural and not forced is a challenge.
      Are you still at camp?


  1. Traditions says:

    […] know, in the past, Michelle has touched on how tradition can add depth to your story and your characters. I’d like to go into a little bit more detail […]

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