Family Tradition Descriptive Essay Outline

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Despite how the modern message may have been diluted down the years, each Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus with traditions drawn from Christianity as well as other ones personal to our own family. Each family I know follows many of the same traditions as we do, however each put their own spin on it and make it their own. My Christmas is special because of these very traditions which we have formed as a family.

The 1st of December is my favorite day in the year because it marks the beginning of my Christmas. On the 1st of December my family and I go to the shops and buy a special new tree decoration. My parents have been collecting Christmas decorations for years and nothing matches on purpose. Christmas spirit is everywhere on the 1st of December, the shops play festive music and are usually decorated down to the last detail. It is this date for me that marks the beginning of the season.

We all put the tree up together the weekend after. We play Christmas music in the background, wear the Santa hats we dug out of the loft and have a drink. After the tree is up, the excessive amount of food has been brought, then the family all come down for the big day. We live all over now so the traditions have had to be adapted slightly. Christmas is the time when we all make the effort to come down at the same time. We go on the 24th of December and play family games all day. We have a buffet dinner which we call an ‘itsy bitsy’ then make our way to midnight mass at the local church.

On Christmas day we wake up early, around 8 a.m. and have breakfast together. We don’t open our presents as soon as we get up as we all agree that we love the anticipation. When we do get round to opening our gifts, after dinner has been put on and the vegetables have been peeled, one of us hands each present out, one at a time.

After presents we all help to get the dinner dished up and the table laid. For dinner we have a turkey with all of the trimmings, we say grace before dinner and then pull our crackers. We have a competition to see who can keep their hat on for the whole day.

After dinner comes the washing up, which we all help with. Then we enjoy family games which we either got that day or we dig out the old classics. The games are my favorite part of the day. It is something which everyone gets involved in and has a great laugh over.

Our family traditions at Christmas have been adapted since people have moved away however, we always make the effort to be together and play games together. Our traditions are much the same as any family; we eat, we give gifts and be merry.


Personal Narrative Writing Prompt -- 100 POINTSEnglish 1 Unit 1Assignment:

In an essay, I want you to tell me about a family tradition you have. Think about the holidays (Thanksgiving,Christmas, Hanukah, Easter, Fourth of July, birthdays, etc.). Does your family do the same thing every year? Doyou always go to someone’s house? Eat your Aunt’s famous potato casserole? Open presents in a certain order?Go bowling or out to the movies after eating a huge dinner?In your essay, I want you to walk me through this tradition from the start to the end. Tell it to me like you woulda story. BE DESCRIPTIVE! As a read it, I should be able to clearly picture everything in my mind. Make sureyou cover the five senses:1.


(what does everything look like?)2.


(what does it sound like? Laughter? What kind of music?)3.


(if there is food, make sure you tell me what it all smells like; make me hungry as I readit!)4.


(what does the food taste like? My mouth should be watering when I’m done reading it)5.


(feel of the wrapping paper in your hands; holding your children; sitting by a fire, etc.)

What I’m looking for in your narrative:

At least three paragraphs

Vivid language


STRONG VOCABULARY (verbs, nouns, etc.)


Figurative language (similes, metaphors, personification, etc.)


Sensory details (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste)


You should be “painting a picture” of the scene with your descriptions

Description of family tradition


Discuss three “events” that take place during this tradition


Told like you are telling me a story (beginning, middle, end, characters, setting, etc.)

Format Requirements (See Example):

MLA Style Heading


Your last name and page number in the upper right corner of the header 

Go to “Insert”



Page Number 

Top of Page

Plain Number 3

Type your last name and hit space once


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