a lot of things in my life are about building family culture - I want to make sure that we implant our kids with a certain culture. the basic idea, the end game is to prepare the kids to be healthy and successful adults - to be able to make a good living, to be able to form good social relationships and have their own families, be healthy and be good citizens. some of the things that we want to promote (not necessarily in this order) - a sense of jewish identity, a sense of american identity, valuing health and fitness, politeness, style, cosmopolitanism, charity, valuing education, hard work, discipline. we work hard on a lot of traditions, these include: holidays Halloween - we take Halloween seriously, we make great costumes and go out trick or tricking with a whole bunch of friends Hanuka- we make candle holders every year, and then we all light candles together every night. we invite people over for potato pancakes and donuts one night every year Passover - we always do seder - our passover is serious, usually 20-40 people, with a 2 hour seder that is very kid friendly, a lot of singing, a lot of props, playacting, etc. purim - we take the costumes seriously, and we do mishloah manot, putting together baskets of food to take to friends. this year we made kick ass costumes that included printing fabric and paper machie christmas we volunteer, as a family, for a soup kitchen thanksgiving we go to a restaurant (I have a trade show the week before and the week after) and then we deliver food for a food bank we also pick fruit 4 or 5 times a year - strawberries, blueberries, apples and cherries, at least. volunteer at a soup kitchen 4 times a year as a family have friday night dinner with company once a month, we try to invite an old person with no family nearby to each one sit down once a year as a family and decide where to allocate our charity money that year go camping twice a year do a road trip once a year have all the grandparents visit at least once year hold a huge bonfire at the beginning of the summer vacation and a huge barbecue at the end of summer vacation every year my wife and I both take part in a lot of fitness activities and make it clear to the kids that we do so, we keep most unhealthy food out of the house and make unhealthy foods into occasional treats, we have all the kids doing physical activities, and make them try different sports. we buy fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as meat and cheeses, and make our own breadstuff, both for health but also to promote the idea with out kids to eat responsibly. we keep a lot of books around the house and read extensively, and make sure the kids understand the value of books we travel with the kids, as well as having a lot of maps around the house - one is a world map that is 2 m X 2 m with stick on figures so that the kids can play with things and understand the world. we work really really hard on manners - the kids can't talk to an adult without standing up, they have to hold the door for people, they always say please and thank you, they have to cover their mouth when they sneeze cough or yawn. we make it clear that I work and make the money that pays for everything - the kids can't touch my phone or computer, and when I way I am working they can't bother me. they have visited my office, and met people I work with. they are all, even the smallest, aware of the fact that I work, my boss pays me, and I use that money to pay for the things that we need. my son has been saving money since he was 5 - he once saved every penny of his allowance and other money he made/got for 18 months to buy an ipod. we haven't given the 4 year olds allowances yet, but that will start of 5. they do have to make choices, this or that, for certain things. anyway, those are some of our family traditions and culture. I pretty much didn't inherit any of this, and made it up what do you guys do?
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3/20/11 at 6:05pm