“Click, Click, Click.” Ski bindings lock in boots as people without poles load the last chair of the night and year at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho.
This year two 10 year olds accompany the expedition, nervous but anticipating the experience they’ve waited so long to have.
Thus, age 10 became the minimum age, and it now signifies a certain rite of passage.
Crisp air paints cheeks rosy as the crew recounts the tradition riding up the chair in the stillness of the night – who came what year, who couldn’t handle the steep climb, the current newcomers. The ski patrol awaits our arrival.
“We’ve been expecting you,” they say, and warn us of the cat groomers as they do every year. Binding click again, but this time in reverse.
The group begins the trek up the ridge, carrying their skis on their shoulders. The noisy chatter quickly dissipates as the angle of the hill steepens, and breathing becomes deep and steady. Breathless “You can do its,” and “Good Jobs” interrupt the pounding of the heart in each chest. Kick, step, kick, step, we make our way, following the divets in the mountain of the person who went before us. The 10 year olds inevitably beat most up the mountain. Young legs pay off.
At the top there are fireworks, high fives, and hot chocolate waiting.
I love the bonding that happens between parent-child, cousin-cousin, friend-friend. The experience ties heart strings to one another.
We light the flares…
and head down, following each other in an “S” fashion.
What is so appealing about this experience?
It has 4 elements that can create a special, unique tradition:
1. The element of challenge – something must be overcome.
2. The element of fellowship – people are embarking on an experience together.
3. The element of fun – those involved enjoy what they are doing, even if parts are difficult.
4. The element of originality – not everyone does this. In fact, it makes us unique that we do.
Ours may not sound like a “fun” experience to many of you, but to us, it’s one of the greatest highlights of our year. When we yell “HAPPY NEW YEAR” and wave our flares as we fly down the mountain all aglow, we feel ALIVE and CONNECTED. To me, there is no greater way to ring in a new beginning.
How about you? What unique traditions have you heard of or started? What ideas do you have for your family or friends? I’d love to know!
And P.S… our tradition has an open invitation. So if you ever get the hankerin’ to climb a ski ridge in Idaho on Dec.31st, we would love to have you!
Apple Day has been a long standing tradition in our house. This picture makes me want to cry because it is from a couple of years ago, and I just cannot stand how fast they are growing up! It makes me realize how special this day is in creating all of the warm feelings of fall — the smell of apples cooking, a pumpkin spice candle burning, Vivaldi playing in the background (my favorite canning music for some reason), happy noises coming from the kids working together, and the familiar “pop” of canning lids sealing. It truly is a day that makes me HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. It’s all that good in life!
Here’s why. This fantastic gadget peels, cores, and slices the apples. If they are hard, it is a snap. If they are soft…. it turns to a mushy, mashy mess.
We are big on birthdays around here, and The Hidden Cupcake is one of our favorite traditions! Here is how it works…In the morning, we put the cupcake next to the birthday person’s plate. Sometime during the day, the cupcake disappears and is hidden somewhere in the house. At present time, the birthday guy or gal gets to hunt around for the cupcake, which is now housing inside of it a fun gift.
I love thinking about this family that I love so much when I’m cooking for mine!
I bought some blank canvases at the craft store and painted them black and brown. My husband and I brainstormed words that describe each family and their history and life. I then used my Sillouette machine to cut out vinyl words for each canvas. I mailed one of them before I could take a picture, but here are the other two.