One of the special things about starting a family is that you get to start your own traditions. You can also give your own personal twist to existing traditions from your childhood. Family traditions don’t have to be complicated, cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time. Simple things can grow into memories you cherish, and events you look forward to every year. Having family traditions provide specific reminders of the togetherness and special relationship you have with your family. Traditions strengthen and bond a family together. There is no right or wrong way to start family traditions.
Here are five ways to start family traditions in your home.
Talk to friends and family: One of the cool things about traditions is that everyone does things a little differently. Talk to lots of different people; ask what traditions they had while growing up. Pick the ones that appeal to you. Researching the history of holidays in different countries can be interesting too. Not only can you learn about where your own traditions come from, but maybe adapt traditions from your cultural background to celebrate your own unique heritage.
Keep it simple: Some of the best traditions are the simple ones. Friday night pizzas, a scrabble game after Thanksgiving dinner, or bedtime rituals. They don’t take a lot of money or time to do.
Let it grow organically: Don’t force a tradition. Sometimes you start out with an idea about how tradition is going to work, but it surprises you and turns into something that you didn’t expect. A simple afternoon building gingerbread houses might turn into a serious competition complete with Facebook judging and a prize of the most creative house. A resolution to take a New Year’s Day hike that every year gets voted down in favor of a lazy morning with hot chocolate and leftover Christmas cookies can become a tradition in its own right. Other times, traditions that were lots of fun for a few years, suddenly stop working for your growing family. It’s OK to let them go.
Organize: Write them down. Keep a list and descriptions of all your traditions in one place as well as any other important information like recipes, instructions, or supplies that you’ll need every year. This makes it much easier to continue new traditions that you enjoyed and want to keep doing, but might not remember exactly what you did 12 months from now.
Think outside the box: Lots of families forget that traditions are something that apply to the whole year, not just the time between October and January. There are lots of little silly holidays you might consider adding into your traditions. Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday by making green eggs and ham, or baking a pie on March 14 for National Pi day. Little things like this can create traditions that span the entire year.