Bringing together families and keeping loved ones together 😉
We all have family traditions. Quite a few traditions spring up on their own and weave themselves into the fabric of who we are as a family. These rituals become our link to the past, enjoyment in the present, and hope that the specialness of family will go on. From menus to birthdays to annual events, why change if it is working? Plus, as any parent will note, kids enjoy repetition — same story, same video, same game. Kids love traditions for this reason.
Three components of a good tradition
The first component of a good tradition is that it needs to be chosen.
- Keep it simple. Activities that focus on people and values are usually long lasting. Despite their enjoyment, ideas that are too elaborate or expensive might have a short life span.
- Talk to your spouse. Make a point of talking about which traditions you’re going to keep from each family and what new ones you’ll start.
- Involve your kids. Children love to participate in something they have helped plan. They’ll probably have many suggestions to offer about family fun as well as special celebrations.
The second component of a good tradition is that it needs to be enjoyed, which is not as simple as it sounds. Many of us have endured traditions that we just didn’t like: getting up at 5 a.m. to open Christmas gifts or cramming too many activities into one day.
The last component is that traditions need to be flexible. Some year’s circumstances will alter even the most enjoyed and carefully chosen traditions. You always go to your brother’s for Easter, but this year your husband has a new job and works Saturdays. Only a few traditions survive the life span of a family. Many of the best traditions peter out over time. Circumstances such as college, marriage or death can end traditions. Sometimes age pulls the plug as each child outgrows the activity.
The photographs, the videos, the memories will linger long after the last homemade valentine is designed. No matter how long they last, traditions make us richer from having celebrated together.
This article was published with permission from Focus on the Family Malaysia.
If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources at family.org.my.