Importance of Holiday Traditions
With the holidays coming up, I find myself reminiscing about holiday traditions I had with my own kids and traditions I grew up with. During the busy Christmas season, I always spent a day with my girls, baking a variety of cookies. They had so much fun decorating the gingerbread boys and girls! I like knowing that, as adults, our cookie baking days bring back good memories for them.
Family traditions can bring a family closer. It provides a sense of belonging, predictability and maybe even anticipation. Traditions play a role in defining who we are as a family unit, our beliefs and what we value. I encourage new couples to establish their traditions, blending what they have grown up with, if that feels right, and modify to fit the two of them. As children come into the family, new traditions emerge and old ones may fade. As we are ever changing, our customs can change right along with us.
Especially if this year has found your family circumstances changing, I encourage you to take some time now to contemplate what traditions still work for you, ones that may have reached their expiration date, possible new traditions to incorporate and plan ahead. Have age appropriate discussions with your kids and maybe include them in the planning. If you and your spouse have divorced, I urge you to talk to him/her and work out details early so your kids can have that predictability of who will be where and when. If your family has added a baby in this past year, consider any adaptations that may be necessary for Baby. If your circumstances have changed economically either direction, I encourage you to take that into consideration, as well. Use these life changes to embrace new traditions that will have meaning and be a good fit for your family, as it looks this holiday season.
While some traditions are timeless and can be passed along from generation to generation, others may only have a lifespan of a few seasons in your family. As the leader in your family, only you and your children’s other parent can determine what is right and how long it is meaningful for your family. All of it builds memories. My hope is that you and your children will be blessed with many happy memories to cherish as the unique and special family you are.