How to Start a Family Tradition

How to Start a Family Tradition

I haven’t spoken to you, my 23,417 feline followers, in a long time. As you know, we cats don’t have any family traditions. We have something far superior – instincts. However, humans both need and enjoy traditions. That is why many years ago, I persuaded Ol’ Fuzz Face and Miss Blondie to have a yearly First Robin of Spring Contest. Since then, I’ve learned that all of us cat should know how to start a family tradition.

But, before you try something like this with your humans, you should take these three tips to heart.

3 Tips on How to Start a Family Tradition

The three tips I have listed below have been compiled and developed here at Serendipity Farmhouse over the course of eight years. They are practical and based on feline common sense. If you follow these tips, you and your humans will bask in the warmth and wonder of family tradition.

Tip 1: Make the Family Tradition Guidelines Clear

First, you should institute a family tradition that has a set of clear and well-defined guidelines. If you fail to do this, the result will be needless squabbles. Here are a three sample guidelines from our contest:

  • There must be a picture of the alleged robin;
  • The bird in the photo must be a real robin; and
  • The picture must be dated on or after March 1st.
How to make a family tradition

This year, Daughter-in-law #1 submitted the winning entry. As you can see, this is an American Robin. The metadata on the photo confirmed the picture was taken on March 2nd.

Congratulations, Daughter-in-law #1

Tip 2: Ensure that Everyone Gets the Message

If your adoptive human family is large, extended, and includes close friends, you should expect some communications problems. Your guidelines should provide an explanation of how to inform all concerned about critical events, like the confirmed sighting of a robin. If some extended family member doesn’t get the message, you can be sure there will be a moment or two of anxiety.

This year, dear friend Miss Nancy got the word late and registered a minor complaint. The communications oversight caused some rather unfortunate use of terminology to be brandished. Apparently, all is well now and there are no more ruffled robin feathers.

How to start a family tradition
Poor Communications and the Robin Grinch

Tip 3: Be Prepared to Start a New Family Tradition

The panel of judges might encounter seemingly insurmountable problems at times. No, I don’t mean problems like the submitted photo is blurred or difficult to view. I mean problems of the type that might disrupt tranquility throughout the entier galaxy. One of those problems occurred on February 25 this year.

It was on that date, that the panel of judges (Ol’ Fuzz Face, Persnickety Pierre, and myself) received a contest submission photo from Miss Blondie. Obviously, the photo should be automatically disqualified because it was submitted days before the start of meteorological Spring. As you will see below, there was another problem with the photo.

How to Start a Family Tradition
Miss Blondie’s Submission

According to the article Vultures in Virginia (All You Need To Know) the photograph that Miss Blondie submitted was not an American Robin. In reality, it was a Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). – This forced the judges to go into an extended huddle.

Miss Blondie is Never Wrong!

Under normal circumstances, the panel of judges would have just laughed at the submission. These were not normal circumstances. By definition, here at Serendipity Farmhouse, Miss Blondie is NEVER WRONG. – This was when the huddle began. We were two desperate men and a Maine Coon cat. Heads would roll if we couldn’t find a solution.

Huddle Results – A New Family Tradition

It took several hours. Fuzzy lost more hair than usual. Pierre said things in French that probably shouldn’t be translated. And I felt my skin crawl as if I had been attacked by a thousand fleas.

Then the answer came. We were trying to solve the wrong problem. The problem wasn’t that Miss Blondie was wrong – because Miss Blondie is NEVER WRONG. Rather, the problem was that the family tradition was wrong.

In a flash, the panel of judges instituted a brand new family tradition – The Last Vulture of Winter Contest. We immediately wrote clear set of guidelines; set up communications protocols; and complimented ourselves on our ability to be prepared to start a new family tradition.

From 2023 forward, Serendipity Farmhouse has two wonderful family traditions;

  • The First Robin of Spring Contest, and
  • The Last Vulture of Winter Contest.

So you see, my dear feline followers, if you follow these three tips, your adoptive human families can also bask in the warmth and wonder of a new family tradition.

5 thoughts on “How to Start a Family Tradition”

  1. A little bird told me that Granddaughter #2 MIGHT have helped Daughter-in-Law #1 with this year’s contest entry. Not sure if you can always trust a little bird though.

    1. The judges discussed this item. We consulted with a very trustworthy little bird, known as Duckie. Based on Duckie’s advice, we will allow our judgement to stand. However, the reward will be in a form that can easily be shared with Granddaughter #2.

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