Monday, October 5, 2009

Please Share a Tradition!

This week Mrs. Yollis' class is starting a new unit in Language Arts called Celebrating Traditions!

 A tradition is something that family, friends,
or another group of people has done for many years and continues to do on a regular basis.

 *     *     *     *     *

The story for this week is "The Keeping Quilt".

 In the first story, "The Keeping Quilt," by Patricia Polacco, the author retells the story of her family's handmade quilt. In the story, a Russian immigrant mother and family arrive in the United States. She plans to make a quilt from a basket of old clothes, telling her daughter, "It will be like having the family in backhome Russia dance around us at night."  The quilt is passed along from mother to daughter for four generations. It becomes a Sabbath tablecloth and a wedding canopy. It even becomes a blanket for new generations of children. "The Keeping Quilt" is a heart-warming story about one family's tradition.

*     *     *     *     *

In the comment section, please 

share a tradition your family celebrates. 

It can be an annual party, a holiday, or any traditional event.

Please include details about: special foods,  decorations, songs, and/or activities.

Remember: Be sure to have a parent proofread with you so your comment will get published!


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,
    One family tradition that I enjoyed when my daughters, Kari and Sarah, were young was our weekly outings to the public library. Every Saturday, we would take turns selecting a place to go out to breakfast. We usually devoured omelets or pancakes with maple syrup! Then it was on to the library. Kari and Sarah would choose the books they wanted to check out. Then they would take turns finding a book for us to read to them. The following Saturday morning, while we waited for our breakfast to arrive at the table, each of the girls would read one of the books out loud to their dad and me. It warms my heart to recall this special tradition now that my daughters are all grown up. I am sure that it is one of the reasons they both love to read so much today.

    Mrs. Ranney

  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    When I was young I lived near San Franciso, but most of my mom's family lived near Los Angeles. We would drive down to celebtrate most major holidays with them.

    I don't have any brothers or sisters, but I have 3 cousins who are all fairly close to me in age. It was always special to get to spend time with them and the rest of my family. I especially enjoyed swimming in my aunt's pool with my cousins and visiting my grandma, my great-grandma, and my great-great grandma.

    Mrs. Gurian
    Kendall's mom

  3. Dear Class,

    One family tradition that I thoroughly enjoyed when I was growing up was our annual trip to Pelican Lake, Minnesota. When school got out in June, my mother would pile my two siblings into our 1968 Chevy Bel-air wagon, and we endured the long 1,800 mile journey from California. At Pelican Lake, we fished for rock bass and walleye with my Uncle Paul. At night, we dined on Grandma Smillie’s delicious cooking. One of my favorite dishes was Hungarian goulash. After dinner, we coated ourselves with mosquito repellent and dashed outside to play Kick-the-can with the neighbor kids. This annual vacation was a tradition I looked forward to, and I cherish those memories today.

    Mrs. Yollis

  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I love tradtions! It's always fun to spend time with friends and family. My family celebrates Halloween. I have never been the same thing two years in a row. But that might change . I'm going to be Harry Potter, and there is a good chance I am going to be him next year.When I dress in my costume, I wonder what others will think of it. This year I'm also getting a plastic model of the Firebolt.(which is a very fast racing broom.)

    Your new student,

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    One tradition my family has is that we have a family movie night every Friday night. We always watch a movie we all like and we always have a yummy dessert such as frozen yogurt,cookies,licorice or a healthy fruit salad. When the movie is over I think if I liked it or not.

    Your student,

  6. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    A Korean family tradition that we honor and celebrate occurs on every New Year's Day. On New Year's Day, our family, from small children, parents, grandparents, to a great grandparent gather together to celebrate the New Year. The theme of this celebration is focused on the importance of family and "filial piety" which means "love and respect for one's parents and ancestors." Sometimes the women dress in traditional Korean dresses called "hanbok" and we eat traditional korean rice cake and dumpling soup called "duk gook."

    After the meal, there is a special family bowing ceremony called "seh-beh" in which the younger generation bow down to the older generations. This bow signifies respect, blessing and good health to the elderly in the new year.
    After the ceremony, the elderly return the blessing by handing out monetary gifts.

    Growing up, this celebration has been one of our most fondest family memories and continues on each New Year's Day in our home and in many Korean families across America. The smell of Korean food cooking in the kitchen, the bright colors of the Korean dresses and watching re-runs of the Rose Parade,together as a family, remain unforgettable to us.


    Ethan K's mom and dad

  7. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    My family tradition is a Havurah campout. A Havurah is a group of people who are Jewish that do things as a group. At the campout we roast marshmellows, go swimming and watch a movie. And in the morning we used to go to a little restaurant for breakfast. Now we cook at home because the restaurant closed.

    My favorite part about the campout is that I get to be in a tent with my friends and play around. We also do arts and crafts.

    Have you ever had a campout in your backyard?


  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    I am so excited about this unit on traditions. I love traditions - big and small.

    Right now, my favorite tradition is when we have family dinners and go around the table and say what we are thankful for. Family members and guests all participate and we usually ask for 3 'thankfuls' but everyone seems to find many more as each person takes a turn. Sometimes we are thankful for the food we are eating, for good grades, for the guests that are visiting and sometimes there are very silly things that people say they are thankful for.

    It is always interesting to hear what each person has to say.

    Thank you for sharing your traditions,
    (Jaxon's mom)

  9. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    My family tradition is inviting my family and friends for Thanksgiving. My special food that I eat is turkey and pumpkin pie. The pumpkin pie is my favorite because it is really sweet.

    Do you invite your family and friends for Thanksgiving? What is your favorite food at Thanksgiving?

    Your student,

  10. Dear Mrs.Yollis

    My tradition is that every Halloween my cousins and I go to our grandma's house. If anyone is running late, I go trick-or-treating with my brother Itai and my mom. Once everyone is there, we go trick-or-treating altogether around the neighborhood. Everyone wears different costumes each year. Last year, I was a freaky witch. My favorite candy is coffee candy. I think it is delicious. We always have a blast!


  11. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    My family tradition is that we have a Super Bowl party. We have it with our friends and family. We usually wear football jerseys. Also we eat out of football bowls and off of football plates. Our tooth pics have footballs on them too. Football is something we play on that day. The team I root for is the team that my dad roots for. The football players have good sportsmanship. Their uniforms are usually very cool. One of the other fun things about our Super Bowl party is that we have a big Chili Cook-Off where everyone brings their favorite recipes. I think it is really nice that we get together with friends and family on Super Bowl Sunday.

    Your student,

  12. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    My family tradition is on my birthday, December 26, we have hard shell tacos. They taste delicious!

    This started when my aunt got married. Her husband had tacos for Christmas dinner as a child. My grandma wouldn't serve tacos for Christmas, so when I was one this
    tradition started.

    Your student,

  13. Dear Mrs. Yollis and her class,

    I grew up in Italian American family. One of the family traditions we had while I was a child, was every Sunday we would have dinner at my Great Grandma Blaundina's home. She would make homemade pasta and my brother and I had the job to lay the fresh pasta over a white sheet on her bed till it was time to cook.

    We still have this tradition when I go back home to visit in Chicago. My Grandma Ann makes the pasta on Sundays, and my kids lay the pasta out on her bed.

    This is something I hope to continue with my grandkids one day.

    Oceans of Peace & Traditions,
    ( Scarlet's mom )

  14. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    My favorite tradition is Thanksgiving dinner.

    This has become a tradition to us because we celebrate my birthday every year on this day. I get to pick out my cake to go along with pumpkin pie.

    Now you know my favorite tradition is.


  15. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    One of my favorite traditions is going to my friend Bella's house for the 4th of July. We all wear red, white and blue and Bella's mom decorates the house with American flags. We swim all day and into the night. We have lots of food, but best of all we have patriotic cupcakes! We then go outside and watch the fireworks from Calabasas High School and light sparklers in the street. I love celebrating 4th of July with my friends.

    From, Kate :-)

  16. Dear Jaxon,

    I am a little surprised at the tradition you shared as your favorite. While I know you always love the campout, the tradition I always think of as your favorite is what we do on your birthday. Since you love dessert SOOOO much, we start each meal with dessert first.

    Afterall, why save the best for last when you can have it first?

    I LOVE that tradition.


  17. Dear Mrs. Yollis’ Class,

    In my family, playing music was a tradition. Every weekend in the summertime, Aunt Lil, Grandma Smillie, Grandpa Holmquist, and Uncle Paul entertained the family by playing the piano and singing their favorite songs. German, French, and Italian operas were popular choices. In addition, everyone loved listening to Uncle Paul played his banjo and classical guitar. Once the adults were done playing and singing, my younger brother and older sister and I would get our chance. We had a player piano with drop-down pedals and a cabinet full of player piano rolls. As we pumped the pedals, the piano played popular songs of the day and everyone enthusiastically sang along. “Red Sails in the Sunset” and “Home on the Range” were big hits! The tradition of music continues in my family today.

    Mrs. Pfau
    Mrs. Yollis’ mother

  18. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    On Halloween night, we all eat chili before we go trick-or-treating. My Mom and brother Troy make the chili in the morning and it cooks all day.
    Our cousins, my aunt and uncle, my grandparents and my neighbors come over and then it is time to start knocking for candy.
    After we trick-or-treat, we sort our candy and trade each other for other pieces of candy.
    We always take pictures in our costumes on the fireplace. Sometimes we dance to the Monster Mash song. We usually have the Charlie Brown Halloween special playing in the background too.
    After we are done with all of that, we have pumpkin pie.

    I love Halloween!

    From your student,

  19. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    Every Winter, my family and I drive to Big Bear for vacation. We rent a cabin with a pet room, for Coco (my dog). The best part is the skiing and the snow.
    My mom says that I am the fastest skier in our family. I'm looking forward to this December.


  20. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    One of the traditions we celebrate each year is the Chinese Moon Festival, which is usually in the month of September or October. On that day, we always eat Chinese moon cakes at home or at friend's homes. It is time for family reunion. Moon festival has a legend of thousand years. It tells us about a reunion of boy with a girl. On that night the moon is supposed to be full. The moon cake is not like a birthday cake or other cakes. It is a cake that is round and usually small. It has fillings inside. It is very tasty. This year the moon festival was on Oct. 3. We had a big party first at a park with a lot of friends. Of course, we had moon cakes. Then we went to see a concert at the Lutheran University in Ventura. The concert had Chinese and Western music. Everyone enjoyed it. So did I. My favourite song at the concert was Jasmine Flower. I like to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival and eat moon cakes.

    From your student,

  21. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    My favorite tradition when I was a child was making a snowman on my front lawn the day after it would snow. My friend Wendy who lived across the street from me would ring my door bell very early in the morning ready to make the snowman. We would gather a hat, mittens, a carrot for the note and a red scarf. After we built our snowman and we were frozen, we would go inside my house and my mom would make us hot chocolate pudding and we would sit in front of the fire.

    This year we will be going to New York in the winter and I can't wait to share this tradition with our three kids!


    Casey's Mom

  22. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    We have a great family tradition with my Mom's family during Christmas. My grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins come to our house for dinner on Christmas eve and some even spend the night so we're all together on Christmas morning.

    My Dad is Jewish so we celebrate Hanukah too so I get lots of presents.


  23. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    My two daughters are very close with their two cousins, Elizabeth and Andrew. They were all born within 4 years of each other. Every year, on each of their birthdays we choose to go to Grandma's house for dinner. Whoever is celebrating their birthday gets to choose the menu and Grandma prepares whatever they want and whatever they want for dessert. The nicest part of the evening is after dinner, we all gather around and share either a piece of advice for the upcoming year, or a favorite memory of the person celebrating the birthday. Now that all of the kids are teenagers (14-18) they love this part more than ever. There is always something said that is funny, something silly and something that makes all of us cry and realize how much we love one another and how lucky we are to be a family.

    I bet when my children are grandmothers they will carry on this tradition with their own grandchildren. That is the best part of a tradition, it lives on through the generations.


    Mrs. Harding

  24. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    My family has three Christmas traditions that I want to tell you about. The first tradition is that we have a family Christmas party every year at my house. All of our aunts, uncles, and cousins come over. There is a lot of yummy food.

    The second tradition is that we do an advent calendar for the month of December. Every day we put a surprise ornament on a Christmas tree made out of felt.

    The best and tastiest tradition is that we have cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. When we're opening presents, I can't wait to have breakfast.


  25. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am Trent's Grandma Marguerite. I also look forward to Halloween, as I give out the candy while Trent and Troy go trick-or-treating.
    I enjoy seeing all of the neighbor children growing each year and their wonderful costumes.
    It is a fun evening for all ages!
    Grandma Marguerite

  26. A big THANK YOU to ALL of our writers! Wow! There are some fabulous traditions in this comment sections!

    @ those of you who wrote about your Halloween traditions,do you have special decorations that you put up?

    I like the idea of camping in the backyard! I’m going to see if my husband wants to try that! We usually camp up in the mountains, but it sounds like a fun idea!

    You asked what my favorite Thanksgiving food is. I would have to say that I love homemade mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. Yummy yum yum!

    @ Sydney,
    I love your tradition of the Super Bowl party! It sounds like you have quite a few football decorations. I’m curious, what is your favorite football team?

    Chili on Halloween night? That was a tradition in my family, too!

    Thank you for the wonderful comment about the Chinese Moon Festival. I learned so much from you. I would also like to thank you for the delicious moon cake you gave to me! I’m curious, what did it say on the top of the cake? I couldn't read the Chinese characters.

    Mrs. Yollis

  27. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I celebrate Christmas with my family every December. My mother's birthday is on the 26th which is the day after Christmas Day. Christmas Day is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Isn't that a coincidence? First Jesus and then my mom!

    I highly anticipate the morning of Christmas day because I get to open lots of presents. Of course I never miss the evening prior to Christmas day where my parents and I bake cookies and leave it by the chimney with a glass of milk for Santa Clause. It never fails he always manages to leave the cookie crumbs behind. Mrs. Clause sure keeps the cookie jar away.
    The anticipation of Christmas is very thrilling.

    From your student,

  28. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I was born in Iran, Tehran and moved to the States when I was eight years old same age as Richie's current age. I had to leave my home,friends relatives and of course my birth country behind but one thing I managed to bring with me is a great deal of tradition. I have a very rich culture with lots traditions that are still celebrated as generations followed in the United States after a great deal of Iranians immigrated to the United States.

    One of the most memorable Traditions for me, is Nowrooz. Nowrooz means "new day" its the official Iranian new year which falls on the first day of Spring every year. The smell of Nowrooz is amazing because all the flowers are blooming.I still remember the aroma of Jasmine as a little girl. We decorate a table that we set up with different items, each item represents a symbolism for the rest of the year. Iranians all over the globe celebrate this glorious day especially because it belongs to the heritage and is not religious. Iranian Americans are speaking to UN officials to nationalize this day. My kids and I love this day and celebrate it every year.
    Mrs. Anaya
    Richie's mom

  29. Dear Mrs. Yollis' class,

    Our family tradition is to celebrate Holi! Holi is a traditional holiday where Indian people like me throw colored powder on each other. Everyone looks messy at the end, like they have been painting for an hour. This holiday teaches us no matter how we look, we still are the same (kind of like Martin Luther King's speech). We celebrate Holi every year in our backyard, and this is my favorite holiday.


  30. Dear Mrs.Yollis

    My favorite tradition in my family is the holiday named Sukot. Every year, at the end of Yom Kipoor, we build a suka. A suka is tent with four poles connected together with fabric. We use palm tree leaves for the roof. Then we decorate the suka together.For eight days we eat at the suka with family and friends.
    Sukot is my favorite holiday tradition.


  31. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    My family tradition is to go to the pumpkin patch every year. When we go to the pumpkin patch I like go on the pony ride. I also like to climb a giant hay stack. I love to buy fresh donuts there. They are so good!


  32. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    My favorite family tradition is having my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin Sean over every Sunday for dinner. After we eat, we always play BINGO and my mom has a really cool prize box filled with candy and little toys. Even the grown-ups like to pick a prize. I love when I am the number caller! For dinner, we usually have Italian food because my uncle is from Italy. He loves to cook pasta. He makes fresh pizza, and it tastes really great!

    From your student,


  33. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    My favorite football team is probably the Cardnials. Do you have a favorite football team? The Cardnials played the Super Bowl last year against the Stealers. What would you do if you had a Super Bowl party?

    Your student,

  34. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    My favorite family tradition is celebrating Halloween with my family. We put up pumpkin lights around the windows and put fake Spiderwebs around the roof. Tombstones and pumpkins are put around the front yard. A skeleton is hung on our front door. Bats are hung from our window and ceiling. My mom hangs cut out colored papers from Mexico that celebrate the Day of the Dead. A white ghost is hung next to the door. My mom puts small figures from the Day of the Dead on the fireplace mantel. We fill the cauldron with Halloween candy to feed about 500 trick or treaters that come every year. Sometimes we put dry ice in a cauldron too, and it looks like mist. My Dad likes to play music by the White Zombies when we open the door. Sometimes our neighbors even block off the street from cars so more kids can celebrate Halloween!

    Corey F.

  35. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    My favorite tradition is getting together for Thanksgiving dinner. It is always fun getting together with my parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins. We don't all see each other often, so it is always enjoyable to catch up.

    I especially enjoy the wonderful food on Thanksgiving. I love tasty turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and delicious pumpkin pie! I know my daughter and son really enjoy the pies also!

    Kendall's dad

  36. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    One of our family traditions is celebrated every Fridays right after school. My mom or dad takes my 2 brothers and I for a delicious treat. We do this to celebrate the end of the school week and NO HOMEWORK!!!

    After we are done eatting our remarkable treat, we come home and do family movie night. My brothers and I take turns picking the movie. This week it's my brother Andrew's turn to pick the movie. I wish it was my turn to pick.:-( I like Friday nights because it is not a school night and I can sleep later to finish watching the movie. :-)

    Ethan (your student)

  37. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    One tradition that my family and I celebrate is Christmas. We decorate the Christmas Tree with ornaments, lights, candy canes, stockings, ribbons, bows and angels. My family and relatives gather together at either my home or one of my relatives home and have a great Christmas feast. We eat turkey, chicken, ham, candied yams, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cakes, rice, vegetables, salads, ice cream and many other foods. We also play many games such as hide and go seek, musical chairs, tag and other games. Before the day is over we open our Christmas presents under the Christmas Tree.

    What tradition do you celebrate ?

    Your student,

  38. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class, My favorite tradition is Christmas. On Christmas my mom lets me open one present before everyone else in my family. Also my family and I remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus and that's the reason why there is Christmas. Before Christmas day we get ready by decorating the house. At night, we put out cookies and milk for Santa. One time in the morning the milk was gone and the cookie had a bite mark! I love the time that we spend together as a family cooking & making gingerbread cookies and I like not being in school for a couple of weeks during that time. I love Christmas!

    Your friend,
    Moraiya =)

  39. Dear Mrs. Yollis (and class),

    One tradition I've followed forever is watching sports on TV with family and friends.

    Just about every weekend I can be found in front of some form of competition but I'm not picky; it could be horse racing, bowling or golf. But my favorites are hockey, football and tennis.

    What's been great is sharing this love of sports with Ben & Joss and they are now regulars with my friends and I while we watch the Philadelphia Eagles each Sunday. We get bagels and doughnuts and everyone has their assigned seat so as not to negatively effect the outcome of the game - we're all quite superstitious.

    But after all that time in front of the TV we always try to get out and play ourselves, whether throwing around the football, hitting some tennis balls or just running around with the dog.

    Now if one of my teams could actually win a championship, that's a tradition I could really get behind!


    Eric (Ben's dad)

  40. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Our family tradition is every year we go to San Fransisco to see our friends, Keely and Nicole. Sometimes they come visit us in Calabasas. We visit for *about* 3-5 days. In the morning, we play video games, go outside, or do tag. In addition, we ride down the hill with our red scooters. In the evening we usually agree to play pool. One time we put our heads in the icy and frozen water. It was a blast!



  41. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,
    A tradition that my family has is that every year on christmas morning my little sister Jaxon eats Santa's left over cookies. She has been doing that since she was about 2 years old and is now doing it at age 8.

    Jordan (Jaxons Brother)

  42. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    Another Jewish tradition of mine is that every Purim we wear costumes and go to my grandma's house. After everyone is there we give presents to one another. The present I got last year was a pink princess light, a small pink pillow, and a bunch of pink, purple, and silver necklaces. Boy do I love doing that every year.

    Your student,

  43. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    Another tradition of mine is that every Halloween after my cousins and I go trick-or- treating we go to our grandma's house and sort our candy. Sometimes we trade candy and sometimes we say "No way I am not trading my candy." I always trade with my cousin Micah because sometimes he has delicious candy that I like. I hope I get so much more candy than I usually get.

    Your student,


* * *
Getting feedback is important to our writers. Let us know what you liked or what you learned.

Steps to Comment:

1. Write your comment in the box below. Be sure that you have proofread it for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Students should have a parent check it!

2. Choose an identity. (If you have a gmail account, use it. If not, choose name/url. You can leave the url blank if you do not have a blog.)

3. Click "Publish your Comment". You may preview your comment before publishing if you'd like.

Important: All comments MUST be approved by me.
:-) Mrs. Yollis