Tradition is the glue that binds a family. Here’s why these rituals are actually so important.

Between sports, work, after school activities, meetings and more it seems like it’s getting harder and harder for families to spend quality time together. I know that some weeks it’s rare that we all actually sit down to a meal together, and when we do there’s still a rush to eat in order to get homework and readers done any way. Add how social media is now influencing our lives and I feel like family values and that sense of belonging to something special is slowly slipping away.

As time passes families will of course grow and change. Making traditions or continuing the traditions you were brought up with are a great way to ensure your family is making time for each other and celebrating their precious bonds. The stories of your traditions will later be shared for Christmases to come. No matter the age of your children, when it comes to that time of the year to set up the Christmas tree, make puddings, decorate the house with lights, or go to Carols by Candlelight it’s wonderful to see everybody come together and appreciate one another.

For my kids’ part of the holiday excitement is due to the traditions we have maintained as a family. No matter where we’ve lived these rituals have always been a constant and many of them are treasured as they were passed down from our extended families.

Not all families have traditions, but it’s not too late to start, and here’s why!

Tradition Celebrates Togetherness

I don’t know about you, but our extended family is scattered all over the country (and overseas). Traditions help to bond families and keep that support network alive. One of our newest traditions is to Skype our family in Slovakia after Christmas lunch! With my kids going to their dads house every second Christmas it’s important for our little family to have traditions to look forward to. These rituals I’m sure will help us to maintain our close bond and create cherished memories for years to come. In fact, if I happen to forget one or not do it to his standards, my twelve-year-old will let me know about it!

Tradition is the Creation of Precious Memories

The stories and the memories of your family traditions will last through generations. I remember as a little girl being taught by my Nanna how to make and decorate the Christmas cake. While I am really terrible at making the actual cake as an adult, I’ve passed the decorating fun on to my kids and always tell the stories of how my Nanna taught me. My eldest son and I have decided that our new family tradition is the one where he and I spend hours untangling all of the Christmas lights. (Really, hours!) When you make such tasks a tradition they immediately become more fun, and we’ve begun to laugh about having to do it each year, despite promising ourselves that we’ll pack them up again much better this year! (We won’t!) No matter what traditions you make, these memories will last a lifetime and give our little people a sense of family and belonging.

Tradition Builds Upon Strong Values in Our Children

As both a Mum and a teacher I’ve noticed that children seem to be growing up way too quickly. With attitude. Social media has overtaken our lives; parents are ‘embarrassing’ and it’s soooo lame to acknowledge actually caring for something or somebody. Maintaining family traditions, or even including your children in creating some new ones can help to encourage values of trust, loyalty, achievement, creativity, and compassion. Teaching your children to contribute as part of a family and team can only help them to become a well-rounded and successful individual later in life. They may feel too cool for tradition now but I am confident in years to come they’ll look back and appreciate the efforts that were made to ensure the festive season was memorable and special.

There are many reasons to continue or create traditions for your family this festive season. What are some of your traditions, and why do you love them? From me to you, celebrate family and create traditions! Our little people grow so quickly and developing their sense of belonging and reinforcing their family memories has so many beautiful and life-long benefits! Have fun!

Author

Heidi is a teacher and single mum of four who goes to gym in order to indulge her love of cheesecake. Raising kids with ADHD and Aspergers is fast, chaotic and often hilarious, but she wouldn't change a thing. Heidi recovers with good chick lit, writing and Netflix after bedtime.

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