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How to Start a Family Tradition

Family Traditions are something that are passed down from parent to child. It is something familiar that a family may do every birthday, certain holidays, or the same time every year.
Some of our family traditions are breakfast for dinner every Sunday, putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, raking leaves and jumping in them every fall, going to see the local Christmas light show and drinking hot chocolate while there.  These are a few of our favorite traditions. Some began with my parents, some began with his, and some we started on our own.

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There are a few ways you can start a family tradition.

Find something that is important to you and your family.

If it is not important to you, you will not be likely to keep it up. It will also be less likely to be passed down to your children. Pick a favorite holiday, or season and find something the whole family likes and do it. A friend of mine makes cinnamon rolls for her family every Christmas morning. Another friend makes her kids matching PJ’s every winter and they open them on Christmas Eve. Traditions don’t have to start on the holidays; another option would be to let your kids pick a restaurant to eat at every year on their birthday, or going to the same park or greenhouse every year for spring. Pick a night every week, or even once a month and make it family night. Play a game, watch a movie, go out to eat, whatever works for your family. The important thing is to find something that matters, and pick it. That is key to starting a family tradition.

How to Start a Family Tradition

Make Time to do it, every year, week or month!

This is the big one. In order to start a family tradition, you have to actually make it happen. This may be hard some years, and there may be times you don’t “feel” like doing it, but do it anyway! Traditions are great family memories and something that once you get in the habit of doing, will become second nature.

Give yourself freedom.

You may find something that you would LOVE to be a family tradition, but your family may not like the idea. That is okay, try something else!  Also, some traditions your family may outgrow. We vacationed in the same cabin every year in Tennessee. This last spring we went and sadly realized our family of 5 no longer “fit” well in the small 2 bedroom cabin that we began staying in as a family of 2. I shed a few tears when we pulled out that last night, but realized that the cabin didn’t hold the key to our great memories, it was our family! And that is what really mattered. Next time we go we will start a new family tradition and pick a new cabin. The difference is this time, the whole family will get a say in our cabin, and in starting a new tradition!

Talk to Your Family

Think back on your childhood, what was your family tradition? If you can’t think of something ask your parents, or ask your parents what their favorite family traditions were growing up. Talk to your kids and your spouse. What are things that matter to them? What would they like to do more often or what would they like to make time for. Get opinions, and get started on those family traditions!

Family Traditions are valuable memories that you and your family will cherish and talk about for years to come. Even if it seems little or “petty” now, before you know it, it will matter to your family and become second nature. Once it becomes a tradition it will be something you can’t imagine not doing.

What family traditions do you have, or what family traditions do you plan on starting this year?

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