I LOVE family traditions! What are they? They’re fun or endearing things you do with your family on a consistent basis whether it’s once a year or once a week. It can be something special that you do each season, like going to the pumpkin patch or picking out a Christmas tree. It could be something simple that you do every day like having supper around the table at night and ringing an old cowbell to let your darlin’s know it’s time to “come ‘n’ get it!”. A family tradition can be planning a family fun night where you play games or watch a movie munching on popcorn. Or lighting a fire in the fireplace and sipping hot chocolate on the first cold day of fall. Tucking your kids into their cozy beds with a bedtime story and prayers then whispering “sweet dreams! I love you!”, as you turn out the light, is such a simple tradition yet so significant. All of these moments will warm the hearts of your children throughout their whole life!
Family traditions require time and commitment but the payoff is priceless! They are keys to family happiness!
Here are my 5 top reasons why I think Fun Family Traditions are so important:
1. Family traditions give us a sense of belonging. It’s this delicious and cozy feeling that fills your heart with a warm and comforting thought; this is my family, I belong to them, they belong to me and I’m loved. Every child deserves to feel this.
When my kids were little, Saturday was “family day”. It became our tradition to go for a drive in the country or collect shells on the beach, or just to get an ice cream cone. Saturday’s meant spending time together having fun. Another tradition we had was if my husband or I noticed the sunset was unusually gorgeous we would round up all the kids throughout the house and say “Come see! Come see! God painted a beautiful picture in the sky!” We would run outside, look up into the glorious heavens and marvel with words like “Wow!! Look at the colors! So beautiful!”. Then we gave God a round of applause for creating such indescribable beauty for us. I love remembering my little family standing outside clapping and saying “Yay! Jesus!” Think about the significant effect this had on my kids.
2. Family Traditions create happy memories that will last a lifetime. These memories will be what shapes, strengthens and comforts each member of your family. They’ll draw goodness from these experiences which will fortify them throughout the happy and difficult times of their life.
Just recently my oldest son Dusty told me that when he was little, he would get so excited when he came home from school and saw that I had started decorating for Christmas. His eyes would light up and a smile spread across his face as he opened the front door and saw the staircase railing draped with garland and twinkling lights. That was a thrilling signal to him that Christmas was coming! Instant joy! He still treasures that memory! Decorating for the seasons, as you probably know by now, is one of our family traditions…something that was passed down to me from my mother.
When I was growing up my dad always made pancakes for breakfast every Saturday and Sunday morning. I loved waking up to the aromas of those sweet flapjacks and maple syrup mingled with the scent of fresh percolated coffee.
3. Family Traditions create a close family bond. Spending time together, laughing, talking and having fun will draw the family closer together. Children feel a sense of safety and closeness when the family experience is positive and nurturing. Doing fun things together on a regular basis is so important to the well being of your family. It seems to be even more crucial today with all of the modern modes of communication and entertainment…the internet, texting, video games,etc., all of which can cause the family to drift apart and become separate if we’re not careful to create boundaries.
I have a friend that lives far away from her daughter. They have a special tradition every Saturday morning. At 10am they both pour a fresh cup of coffee, sit down at their own kitchen tables and then call each other to have a heartfelt, mother-daughter chat. So sweet!
4. Family traditions give your family something to look forward to. There’s this giddy feeling that comes over children when they know something fun is going to happen. When I was a child we would go to my Grandma and Grandpa Cannizzaro’s house for dinner after church on Sundays. When it got close to Sunday I would get so excited because it meant I got to play with all of my many cousins, eat the most amazing Spaghetti with meatballs (my grandparents were from Italy, so it was the real deal!) and enjoy all the homemade Italian cookies I could eat! I’m still savoring those memories! (And getting hungry!)
5. Family traditions can fill the hearts of our children with goodness. Taking time to do fun traditions sends a message to our loved ones, that our family is valuable. Traditions can also provide hundreds of opportunities to instill wholesome morals and values into our kids. There’s time to talk about life and how our kids are feeling. Time to be emotionally and physically available. And it’s a perfect time to tell our kids how proud of them we are. Time to teach manners. Time to give lots of hugs and pats on the back.
We as parents and grandparents can create our own family culture by making sure we show by example how to keep a good attitude when things don’t go as planned, to be compassionate when someone is hurting, and to live the Golden Rule… “Do for other’s what you would like them to do for you”. Time together can also allow us to say the words ‘I’m sorry” when we’ve overreacted. Family traditions teach our children what is important in life.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
As the years go by, and our children grow up or loved ones move away, our traditions may change. It’s important to be flexible and to create new traditions.We need to make sure that our family traditions are positive ones that will bring happy memories. As the upcoming holidays approach, I hope that you plan some fun family traditions, for they will become the memories that will warm the hearts of you and your loved ones for years to come! I hope you enjoyed this photo collage of my family’s fun tradition at the pumpkin patch!
I’d love to hear about a family tradition that you do with your family!
Sending you sugar and hugs!