Military Family Traditions


Seems only a blink ago, my firstborn was playing with his daddy’s military gear… wearing his helmet, walking in his flight boots.  Now my daughter has married a military man too.  And her firstborn is climbing into daddy’s rucksack, wearing his dogtags. In a blink, decades have passed. Traditions live on… (Although I do have to say, thank goodness the tradition of my bad 1980’s perm has NOT been passed along to the next generation!) If you would like to see more of my family’s adventures in military life (9 moves in 20 years), check out My Happily Ever After  page.


What are some of your favorite traditions through the years? One lucky commenter will receive a copy of A SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS (anthology with stories by Rachel Lee, Merline Lovelace and Catherine Mann) and a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Winner chosen on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014.

About Author: cathymann
USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, and Sourcebooks, with her work reprinted in more than twenty countries. She lives on the Florida coast where she and her military flyboy husband have brought up four children. An active volunteer with her local Humane Society, Catherine enjoys writing while foster puppies nap on her feet.

27 thoughts on “Military Family Traditions

  • Baking cookies at Christmas time.

  • One of my favorites is the 11:00 candlelight service Christmas Eve. The congregation singing Silent Night in the candlelight.

  • I love reading your blog’s and all the pictures are so cute! Mine favorite is baking my mom’s favorite cookies with my daughter and my daughter loves to cook my mom’s favorite pasta dishes.

    • Carole, I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the photos! I tend to write shorter blogs – guess it’s because I use up so many words on books, lol! I do like being able to tell a story with photos sometimes too. And I do think my granddaughter in the rucksack sure speaks stronger than any words I could come pen!! Thanks again!

  • No matter that both my parents are gone we always spend Christmas together. It maybe not on Christmas day, but we celebrate together, my brothers and their families.

  • On Christmas eve night, after church, we come home, turn off all the lights except for the Christmas tree and sit around just watching the lights. Outside of the holidays, my family has a tradition of military service starting with my husband. All 3 of my daughters in one form or the other has served. 2 were active duty Air Force, 1 was inactive reserve. 1 son-in-law was Air Force, the other was Army. 2 grandchildren, 1 grandson-in-law, were Air Force, 1 grandson-in-law was a Marine and that’s just my family. 1 brother, 2 brother-in-laws USAF, 1 BIL was USMC, another two were USA, and 1 nephew USAF. Our only family outlier is our career Border Patrol Agent, 30 years. Several of them retired but all volunteered and served with pride.

  • Great photographs above of your daughter and her family, Stephanie really enjoyed taking the one of the homecoming photos…Thanks Joseph for your service and to all military.

  • Thanks for sharing those timeless photos and stories. We enjoyed the time we were able to spend with your family. I love the photo that you shared that Stephanie took at the welcome home ceremony. It was a great experience seeing them get reunited after such a huge sacrifice, that they made for all of us. It really captured the moment, that is so difficult to grasp with words. Thank you for your family’s service to this great nation.

  • One of the traditions we started is buying an ornament for every area we visited and the state we live in. I love the pictures they are so cute.

  • My boys know that we spend Thanksgiving together. That may mean that we all fly out to Colorado to be with my sister and her family or they come home to NJ and spend it with family and friends.

    We always went to my grandmother’s for Thanksgiving. We would drive from Massachusetts, Rhode Island or Vermont. Thanksgiving was family time with grandparent(s), aunts, uncles and cousins.

    Thus I’ve passed it down that we are all together for Thanksgiving. The only time that did not happen was when we were expats and our eldest was here in the States but he did go back to NJ to be with good friends.

  • We always open 1 gift and then read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
    My grandfather was Army Air Corp and helped start the Air Force. He retired as a Brigadier General. My father retired as a Lt. colonel from the Air Force. My uncle was Navy and my Fiance was Marine Corp.

    • Cyndi, thank you so much to your family for the service!! My grandfather was Army Air Corps as well when he started – then over to the Air Force. What a time that must have been starting a whole new branch of the service!

  • I think it’s great that when your grandchildren get in trouble for getting into the gear you will be able to say that you remember a time when they did the same thing.

    One of the traditions that we have come to love is at midnight on Christmas Eve we place one white dove for each family member who has passed away. It’s our way to remember them and make us feel closer to them during the holidays.

  • Hockey

  • Our best family traditions are the Christmas holidays. We pick our tree out as a family. Walking and looking until we find one that is perfect to us. We decorate it together even using ornaments my kids made where some are over 25 years old. The village
    goes under the tree with buildings painted by myself and kids from the time they were toddlers. Cookie making and decorating is done together. The house is decorated inside and out. The holidays are all about family and traditions and being together. This year was hard financially, but as my kids said presents don’t matter because we are together and that is the best gift ever. I did manage to get then 3 small things each and some things in their stockings from dollar store. I am very Thankful for my family. They are always there for me and it’s not easy with my health issues.

    • Christine, you are so right that it’s being together that matters most – sounds like you had a beautiful celebration of family even in difficult times. Hugs to you and yours!!

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