For most families, holiday traditions revolve around cookies for Santa at Christmas, or searching for eggs from the Easter Bunny, and maybe even breakfast in bed on your birthday. Well, not in my family. For my three brothers and me, our favorite traditions included trying to catch the leprechaun on St. Patty’s day and going to the Pumpkin Patch in October. I had no idea this was a little strange until I first told my husband about the intricate and elaborate traps we would create on March 16thin hopes that in the morning, the leprechaun would be stuck. We never did catch him, but he always did leave us gold-wrapped chocolate coins. At the time, my husband was still just a boyfriend and I think seriously considered breaking up with me. Apparently trying to catch mythical creatures on obscure holidays was not his family’s idea of fun.
Seven months after the St Patty’s Day conversation, my husband had turned from boyfriend to fiancé and was taking his first trip with my family to the Pumpkin Patch. My parents, three brothers, fiancé and I piled into my family’s ancient Suburban and started heading south. There were talks of who could find the best pumpkin, who would win the miniature pedal tractor race and who could jump the furthest off the rope in the hay barn. Just outside my neighborhood, we stopped for gas, and my brothers immediately leaped out of the car to throw the football since they are literally incapable of sitting still, or doing anything that doesn’t involve competition. My soccer playing fiancé, bless his heart, attempted to get in on the action. Being that he was a Division 1 goalie, his involuntary action was to kick the football. Well, kick it he did…all the way onto the roof of the 7/11. My brothers collapsed on to the ground like that had been hit in the groin with a barbell, accused my fiancé of ruining their year, demanded I give him my engagement ring back and assured him he was not welcome to join our family. My dear mom told them it would be ok, we would stop and get another football (which we did), but they still all returned to the Suburban, sulking and disheartened because ‘that guy’ destroyed everything.
They ultimately forgave him and let us get married a few months later. They even agreed to be in the wedding, but only if they could wear tuxedo t-shirts (which they did). And just when my husband and I thought we were in the clear from the football incident, the following Christmas, at age 26, he received youth, pink soccer socks and a Barbie soccer ball from my 26, 18 and 15 year old brothers.
Welcome to the family honey, don’t mess with our traditions.
Luckily, my husband has now embraced our love of the pumpkin patch and since that we can’t go to my childhood place in Virginia, we have found a suitable replacement at Kersey Valley in High Point. During the day, it is a family friendly attraction, complete with a corn maze, gem dig, fossil dig, homemade kettle corn and fresh squeezed lemonade. This year they have even added a 1.5mile zipline running high above the corn field. And of course, they have a great selection of pumpkins. At night, it turns into the “Spookywoods” and has been voted one of the scariest attractions in America.
What kind of fun family traditions do you have this time of year?