All Families Have Traditions: Here’s How to Keep Yours Alive
Most, if not all, families have traditions. Whether that’s gathering together at a specific relative’s house for the holidays, lighting candles for lost loved ones, or only decorating your Christmas tree in specific colors, our traditions are what make our families unique from others. Some fathers take their sons on annual fishing trips (check out Reliable Fishing if that sounds like you). Some take their daughters to play soccer once a week. Some families sing songs, eat particular foods, and tell particular stories. Some traditions are founded in faith or religion and are designed to honor the deity you believe in.
No matter what they are or how they came about, traditions help us build and maintain relationships, foster a sense of collective belonging and help us create some of our favorite memories. Keeping them alive from generation to generation is incredibly important.
Here’s how you and your family can maintain yours.
Know your traditions.
To preserve family traditions, you must first have a solid idea of what they are! Define the traditions that are important to you and other members of your family – what were the things you always did growing up? Did you have specific things you did during the holidays or other special events? Did you have specific birthday traditions?
Create a written record.
If you have family traditions that you want to make sure are preserved even after you’re gone, write them down! Many families have strong oral traditions, and traditions such as songs or special dates are passed down simply by telling. Some, such as recipes, need to be written down to be remembered forever. Don’t be afraid of keeping notes about your traditions, or even taking photographs of what a holiday or decoration is supposed to look like. Whatever you need to do!
Change it up if you want to.
If a family tradition no longer works with your current lifestyle, or some family members no longer wish to observe it in the same way, don’t get upset. Change is a good thing, even when it comes to traditions! You don’t have to give it up entirely – maybe just make a few adjustments, so it fits into your life. The same goes for if you’ve been entrusted with maintaining a family tradition, but are finding it hard to do so. Don’t feel guilty about asking a sibling or other family member for help if you need it. Traditions are supposed to be fun, not something you dread!
Create an entirely new one.
Keeping older family traditions alive is a wonderful way to maintain relationships with our loved ones and remember those family members who are no longer with us. But then, if you have your own family, it’s also nice to create your own traditions. Whether that’s putting your Christmas tree up on a certain date, adding a new dish to your Thanksgiving table, or singing a specific holiday song, it’s yours, so make it what you want it to be.