Traditions Connect Your Family and Make the Holidays More Meaningful. 7 Fresh Ideas To Make Your Holidays Special
By Jackie White
because that’s just the way it is done in our families. However, above and beyond the rote mechanics of implementing a tradition, we should look a little deeper at the importance of tradition in how it anchors a family and provides a connection.
The definition of tradition is the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation or the fact of being passed on in this way. The way tradition manifests in a family is that it can put down roots and comforts amongst a family. It defines who you are as a family, where you come from, and who came before you.
Your family may traditionally make lefse every year during the holidays because your family is originally from Norway. You might play “find the pickle” on the Christmas tree each year because your family hails from Germany. But what if your traditions have burned out? What if all you have left is making the green bean casserole because Aunt Carol has always made it since 1972? Maybe you need a refresh in the tradition department!
To even say new tradition seems like an oxymoron. How can something be new, yet a tradition? How does a new activity or new recipe suddenly become a tradition? Here is the great thing, there are no rules so you get to be creative here! Here are some ideas on how to start a new tradition that will last.
Look to your Heritage
Make a traditional dish or take part in an activity from the country or countries your family hails from. Tell favorite stories of your family. Storytelling is a great way to connect families together.
Celebrate traditions from a different country every year as a way to learn and do something new.
Remember the Meaning
Remember the true meaning of why the holiday actually exists. Some find that going to church is important others voice their gratefulness and love for their families and friends. This is a good opportunity to let those you love know how much they mean to you.
Make it Special
Use the fancy china or make the special pie that takes forever to make. Get dressed up and light some candles. Decorate, turn on some holiday tunes, and shut the tv off. Holidays are supposed to special and out of the ordinary. Go ahead and be a little extra!
Find the Fun
Look for an activity that is fun that everyone can take part in. The alphabet game is always an easy and fun way to engage everyone at the table. For example, on Thanksgiving go around and have everyone say something they are grateful for starting with whichever letter they get as you go around the table.
Crack Out the Photo Albums
What better way to remember the family times than to peruse old photo albums. Tell stories of the past and remember who you are as a family. Also, don’t forget to take pictures and record the day’s events for posterity.
Do an Activity Together
Prepare the dinner together or take a walk after the meal together. Partake in a community service event together such as making blessing bags for the homeless or preparing and serving a meal for those less fortunate at a local church or shelter.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself.
Holidays can be hectic and we can get caught up in the stress of all the work involved. Recruit help early and don’t let the work of the day be your burden to shoulder. Most people don’t mind helping, they just might need to be asked, so ask for help. Do your best to stay positive and in the moment so you too can enjoy the festivities.
Enjoy your holidays and traditions. Celebrate who your family is through the old and the new traditions!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.