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Creating a Family Tradition

Family traditions can go a long way in helping to create and maintain a healthy family life.

Family traditions can be an avenue for family members to get together and fellowship with one another. Such gatherings tend to foster a better family relationship, unity, and understanding.

If you do not already have family traditions, now is the perfect time to start a ritual, celebration or habit of your own.

Your family can celebrate the holidays in many ways. Here are a few examples of traditions that may work for you:

  • Prepare special foods that honor your family’s ethnic, religious or cultural heritage
  • Create at-home activities that everyone gets involved in: decorating the house, making dinner, eating together, watching a favorite video, playing games or cards, singing carols.
  • Take a family outing; they can be as elaborate as ski vacations or as simple as trips to a local museum or attraction
  • Volunteer some time for a charitable cause: serving food at a soup kitchen or shelter, visiting residents of a nursing home
  • Attend worship services together as a family

As your family marks holidays or special events, be sure to talk to your children about the specifics of your family celebration. Make sure your children help plan the celebration and assist with preparations, such as helping to choose the menu and activities, set the table or greeting guests.

As your children grow older, you can provide more details about how your family traditions got started and why they are important. These details will help your children understand the traditions so they can carry them on when they are adults or adapt them to their own lives as they get older. Traditions provide each generation with links to the past.

For some, memories of holidays and special events may not be pleasant. If that is true in your family, try to establish different traditions that give new meaning to these special days.

Whether it is with special foods or one-of-a-kind activities, traditions create fond childhood memories and bring everyone in the family closer together.