The holidays can be hectic. The plays, parties, and gatherings. The decorating, shopping, and wrapping. What do you do around the holidays that are unique and repeated traditions for your family? The importance of family traditions comes out over time in the building of strong family relationships and connectedness.
My family didn’t have many traditions when I was growing up beyond going to my grandparents’ house for the holidays. I quickly learned that in comparison, my husband’s family has so many little things that they do as a family around the holidays. These were expected events that everyone, as much as possible, showed up to participate in each year.
Family traditions do not need to be extravagant and expensive. The simple and budget-friendly traditions are where kids grow to love and appreciate traditions.
The Why Behind Traditions
When you start new traditions, keep these things in mind:
- Make it fun
- Make sure there’s a why
- Make sure your kids know the why
Ideas for Traditions
Here are some ideas for things that you establish as traditions in your family.
Start a tradition of a service project such as:
- Wrapping gifts
- Doing a toy drive
- Serving the homeless
- Shopping for gift for families going through a rough season
- Spend time with someone at a senoir center
These types of activities help your kids focus on something outside of themselves. It doesn’t have to be the exact same service project every year. Maybe you just have a tradition of participating in some kind of service project around the holidays.
Arts and Crafts
These types of traditions don’t have to be complicated or expensive.
- Make baked goods
- Decorate cookies or gingerbread houses
- Create ornaments
- Make other crafts
Just be intentional. Your kids won’t forget that. Even the busts like burning the bread could become funny memories for future conversations.
Sentimental and Gratitude
Try one of these ideas with your kids to help them see the reason for the season and show gratitude to others.
- Write letters to each other expressing thanks, gratitude, or what they see in another person
- Give special ornaments
- Do an advent reading together
- Start an ugly sweater party or white elephant exchange
As your kids get older, let them take a lead and plan some of the traditions too. You never know what creative and memorable ideas your kids might come up with!
“You’re writing little stories on their heart to let them know that they belong to this family.”Connie Albers
Whether you’re celebrating the 4th of July, Easter, birthdays, anniversaries, or Christmas, take time to think about the traditions that you want to establish for your family. As you do, remember the why. The goal is a strong family relationship and connectedness. You’re creating a place where your children can thrive, grow, and fit in for a lifetime.
Fox 35 Orlando: Family Holiday Traditions
Watch Connie on Fox 35 Orlando as she talks more about family holiday traditions.
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