My family has a veritable plethora of odd traditions, some of my favorites include silly things like how sentimental it is to wrap something in a paper grocery bag (which are getting pretty hard to find these days), or rules like "No singing at the table!"
My personal favorite is what my family says just before we eat our Thanksgiving feast. Some years we say the things for which we are thankful, or some other borrowed tradition, but every year, without fail, we gigglingly make eye contact and chant in unison:
There once was a finicky ocelot
who all the year round was cross, a lot
except at Thanksgiving
when he enjoyed the living
'Cuz he liked to eat cranberry sauce a lot.
I have no idea who really wrote this little poem. I tried finding it, but have found some conflicting theories. My best guess is Eve Merriem. If I'm wrong, feel free to point it out (there's a first time for everything...). I'm pretty sure we started saying when we were much much younger due to our mother's amazing home schooling. We each memorized a poem every week, and although I've forgotten hundreds, a few gems, like this one, have stuck with my siblings and me through the years. My other favorite for fall would be:
The leaves are green, the nuts are brown.
They hang so high, they won't come down.
Leave them alone 'till frosty weather,
then they will all come down together.
The sheer glee of this tradition is not the wittiness of the poem, or even that we do it every year in a blissful sense of togetherness. For me, at least, it's how we almost always forget. It's the look on any new comer's face. It's knowing my son will hear it a great deal more clearly than he did last year.
What's your favorite holiday tradition? What's your favorite poem?