Family traditions are the glue that holds families together through the years. As you are reading this, you may recall long-established customs or you may just be thinking about a new tradition you started with your immediate family. Regardless of the number of years you have celebrated each one, the importance of family traditions is tantamount to strong family bonding.
Small Quiz ~ ✏
Do me a favor. Take a few minutes to set everything aside…your phone, computer, tv, game, etc. Sit quietly for a moment and think about what family traditions you celebrate. Think first of the holidays. Are there traditions you do with your children that possibly your parents did with you as a child? Have you started new ones since you have become a parent? Let’s go a step further….write those down.
Now, let’s think about seasonal traditions. Activities that may not tie in exactly with a particular holiday. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…write those down too. What about nightly family rituals, such as reading a book. There may also be weekly or monthly family traditions, such as family game night, daddy dates, or family service days. Let’s not forget birthdays! Are you starting to recall more traditions than you even imagined? We cling to traditions, sometimes when we don’t even realize it.
These events have been shown to strengthen family bonds and reinforce family values. It warms my heart when my grandchildren will ask a question pertaining to a specific holiday. For instance, we love to put on our pajamas, make popcorn and hot cocoa and pile in the car to drive around and look at Christmas lights. We also always get Chinese takeout on the night we decorate our Christmas tree. The grandchildren, now at ages 3 & 6, ask each year if we are going to do it again. They remember and look forward to those special moments.
There are numerous holidays: Federal, State, Religious, Observance, and Sports. There is a list below that includes some of the more known holidays here in the states, but it is certainly not all encompassing. The important thing to remember about family traditions is quality over quantity. It is so much fun to create reasons to celebrate, but don’t overwhelm yourself or your family. There is nothing more depressing than a child that is let down because a parent doesn’t follow through. So keep old traditions and maybe start a few new ones too!
- New Year’s Day
- Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Mother’s Day
- Father’s Day
- Fourth of July
- New Year’s Eve
Nightly or Weekly ~
Here are some ideas of activities the family can do nightly or once a week:
- Reading a book together
- Family game night
- Pizza night, taco night, Italian night (you get the drift)
- Evening walk or Sunday walk
- Sunday special breakfast
- Movie night
- Family meals together…a tough one but oh so worth it!
- Making a story up together…one person start and give a few sentences then another person takes over, etc.
- Highs & Lows – every morning or evening have everyone tell the best and worst part of their day
Take the read aloud family challenge – such a cool idea! ➡➡Check out this fun Family Read Aloud 100 Book Challenge with journal!
Here are some ideas of activities the family can do together monthly. Choose one day of each month and plan your activity. Whether you do the same activity monthly or change it, start with the day and get it on the calendar! This gives everyone something to look forward to and also helps with planning. Stick to it!!! This is what makes it a tradition!
- Hiking at different parks each month
- Zoo/Museum/Sporting Event/Play or Muscial – plan something like this for each month
- Family service project – Work together on a monthly plan of where you can help out in the community
- Movie Night – this is also listed in weekly, but maybe you need to spread it out more
- Cook together as a family
- Game Night – this is also listed in weekly, but maybe you need to spread it out more
- Mommy & Daddy date night – let each child have special time with the parents
- Journal – keep a family journal somewhere for everyone to write in when they have something they need to talk about
- Back to school day – make it special every year
- Hooky day – everyone gets a day off for crazy fun family time
Check out this fun Family Journal with prompts that make it easy for the whole family to use ➡➡Check out the Creative Family Journal with writing prompts here!!!
This is a very small list of ideas. Once again, choose what is most important to your family and follow through. There is no need to have so many traditions that you are overwhelmed. They are meant to be special times bonding the family together.
They can be simple. Lauren loves going to the her grandparent’s place at the lake. The kids know they are going to get on the golf cart and zoom all over. It is something they look foward to every time. They then head to the lake shore and take pictures. How fun it has been to see the kid’s growth over these last few years with the same background. Similar to using a yardstick to measure children’s annual growth on a wall.
In October, my mother puts out a large light up pumpkin. It seems like that pumpkin has been around FOREVER! However, the kids love to have their picture taken with Grandma every year. Likewise, when our children were small we would take the same picture of all of the grandchildren at Easter around the same tree at their Grandma’s! It’s a small thing, but it’s tradition!
Another fun tradition is to make food to match the color of the current holiday. You can be as simple or creative as you like. Believe me, the kids will have a LOT of fun with this. I will be honest though, sometimes they turn out as a flop…these things happen. Probably the worst one my kids remember is green oatmeal for St. Patrick’s Day…it looked just like vomit. We laughed so hard!
Birthdays are a pretty big deal in our family. The birthday person wakes up to a decorated bedroom door (Check out the Birthday door idea by clicking here!), gets to choose what type of cake and dinner and also gets to choose the activity. Deciding on the activity is the best part for me…yes, we still do it as adults! I absolutely love to find different things to do as a family each year. Bowling, paddle boats on the canal or hiking to lunch on the Monon have been some of my favorites. As long as we are together, I am happy. Now, for those of you who know Brad, it is a different story. Nothing makes him happier than all being on the deck and him grilling! That’s nice and relaxing too!
Schedules are hectic….times are crazy! However, this is one thing you can make a point to do with your family. Sometimes we simply forget about the importance of family traditions….but our kids don’t! I hope you will share some of your family traditions below!
Hugs – Mimi