Our lives can get so hectic and chaotic that we forget about what really matters.
A Bit About Traditions
What is a Tradition?
A tradition is a form of action, communication or behaviour which a family regular does with the intention of keeping it within the family. Traditions become a huge part of family without us even realising. If we didn’t have things to look forward to and bond us, when would we set aside the time to get together when we all live busy lives? These don’t have to be huge acts, but can be as small as all sitting together at the dinner table. Or perhaps they refer to regular actions during the holidays to get the family together. No matter what it is, this tradition will be important to everyone who participates.
Traditions often get passed down to new generations as a way to keep family members connected – even if they never had the opportunity to meet. Typically, traditions don’t have to happen every day, although some families are dedicated to daily traditions and rituals. Most importantly, it’s not just about what people are doing, but spending quality time together and keeping with this structure. Without a tradition, it becomes too easy to neglect seeing others because of leading a busy life.
Whatever the chosen tradition, every who participates should enjoy it, or at least understand the importance of it. Every family has a unique tradition to them and this depends on many factors, including: family heritage, passed-down traditions, interests and more. Finally, it’s important that you don’t confuse a tradition with a repeated pattern. For example, watching TV together every night isn’t classed as a tradition if there’s no symbolic meaning to it. Instead, this is just coincidence that everyone wants to watch the same TV show at the same time.
Why Are Traditions Important?
Before we talk about how to start a tradition, it’s healthy that we discuss their importance in helping a family to bond. Firstly, traditions are a great way of passing down activities to new generations. As a result, it’s a form of celebrating families, love and culture. These activities remind people of coming together and spending time with loved ones. Each time you see, feel or reference these experiences, they’re a reminder of happiness and positive memories. If you consistently perform these traditions, it helps to make a family closer. So many of us spend our spare time on our phones, watching TV, or away from family. But, having traditions is more than just a routine, but an act to create a strong bond with family.
It’s not just about the activity itself, but mainly about setting aside time to get to know others more. Consequently, you learn more about family and create a deeper connection which may have previously been missing. Also, traditions give people a sense of comfort. For example, let’s say a daughter moves out on her own for the first time. This can be an intimidating experience. But, if she and the family get together every Monday night for a meal out, they won’t feel as alone. Also, having a tradition is a healthy way of definitely having plans without false promises and hopes.
Finally, if a tragedy happens within a family, some people can become isolated and not talk to others. However, if the family already has a regular tradition, it’s a way of staying in communication and contact with others and not feeling so alone.
What Are Some Examples of Family Traditions?
Before we talk about how to start a tradition, let’s look at some examples of family traditions. Some of these are extremely unique, whilst others are simple and common around the world. However, the most popular trait that all of these have is that they’re meaningful to the families.
Many families around the globe regularly visit a restaurant which they classify as their favourite chain. This is because restaurants are a great way to get the family together, without any phones and distractions, and communicate efficiently. How often these tradition takes place purely depends on the amount of freedom and money the family members have. However, it’s an effective way to avoid spending time preparing and cleaning in the kitchen. Instead, it gives cooks time off, and always families to support local businesses too.
If you’re wondering how to start a tradition, perhaps the most common one is regularly visiting a vacation spot. It doesn’t matter how this destination is chosen, so long as it becomes a regular occurrence. Also, there should be plenty of things to do (and/or see) for the entire family. It can be a relaxation destination or an adventurous time. Finally, another common family tradition is recipes. How many times have you heard families talk about a “secret” recipe? This tends to stem from a grandmother who passes down the family recipe to the next generation. However, as this is so special and sacred, it should only be shared at a special moment and not passed around to others without any care or respect.
How to Start a Tradition with Your Family
1. Movie Nights
If you’re wondering how to start a tradition with your family, then movie nights are a great start. It doesn’t matter where this takes place – it can be at home or in a cinema – so long as family members attend. We recommend once a month, families take it in turns who gets to pick the chosen movie. Also, everyone has to respect the final say, however, it’s a respectable idea to appreciate other people’s tastes. How can you expect someone to be interested in an action movie if they hate that genre?
Movie nights are a great way to relax with your family. As a result, they’re an ideal start when you begin how to start a tradition. No distractions or talking. Simply everyone in one room, connected and laughing together. Afterwards, it gives everyone something to talk about. Voice your thoughts on the movie, and use it as a gateway to open a (taboo) discussion. Ensure that you plan the movie night well in advance, and preferably on the same day each month. This helps to prevent people failing to show up and instead prepares people for the tradition in advance.
Expose children to family favourites and classics. Not only does this help to expand their awareness and knowledge, but it gives them a glimpse into your childhood. Finally, why not make an exciting time of movie nights? Order in a takeaway and everyone’s favourite drinks to make a tradition to look forward to.
2. Enjoy the Snow as a Family
Children love spending time in the snow – especially building a snowman. Instead of escaping the cold, embrace it. This special weather doesn’t happen all the time, so when it does make an appearance, enjoy it with your family. The most obvious option is to build a snowman. Encourage the children to work in a team, and collect essentials for the snowman to wear. This is an enjoyable and memorable tradition, and should be exciting for everyone involved. Picture children excitedly yelling, “it’s snowing. Can we build a snowman?” when they see the first snowflake drop onto the ground.
Another way to enjoy snow as a family is to eat in it. Yes, that’s right. Leave the dining room and head outdoors to eat together as a family. You may wish to go the extra mile and build a wooden table from scratch together. However, you choose to eat with others, you’d be amazed at how much weather can make family members bond better together. Another fun idea to enjoy the snow is to make snow angels. Alternatively, you may wish to drizzle some honey or syrup into the snow to make a name. When this dries and the snow warms up, you’ll be left with crisp names outside the house.
Finally, another way to enjoy the snow as a family is to start a tradition with the first sight of a snowflake. For example, gather together around the fire, with a hot chocolate, watching the snow fall from the sky. This is especially calming and a great way to bond with the family.
3. Look Through Family Photo Albums
So many of us don’t know our entire family. It’s a sad thought, because we’ll never meet them. However, it’s an excellent opportunity to spark up conversation with family members and get to know some interesting and personal sides to their life. This particular tradition doesn’t have to happen that often – maybe once a year, or whenever it feels natural to occur. All sit together as a family and turn off cell phones and other devices. With everyone gathered together, it’s time to present the family photos for everyone to see.
Then, begin talking about the people within the photographs. Naturally, questions and comments will come up naturally throughout the course of this action. However, it’s a great way to introduce family members for children and those just welcome into the family. When you choose to start this tradition is personal to you. Perhaps we could suggest on grandad’s birthday, and begin with photographs of him. Invite anyone and everyone you feel would appreciate this gesture.
To expand off of this tradition, perhaps you could annually have a picture taken of the entire family. This is a great way to capture memories and people onto paper, as well as spend a few quality hours together.
4. Family Game Night
If you’re considering how to start a tradition, then this basic, yet effective one is a great place to start. When was the last time you engaged in an activity which wasn’t related to screens or an electronic device? We’re seeing newer generations spending their precious time with their eyes locked to a screen. However, family game night is an excellent strategy to have a phone-free night. To begin starting the tradition, everyone should purchase a game of their choosing. Keep your mind open as this could be on the Playstation, a simple game of cards or a board game.
Then, through any chosen method – a random family member is picked to make the choice of which game to play. This isn’t an uncommon family tradition because it gets the family connecting and having fun together without any stress. Also, it’s a great activity to relieve any tension and stress from the week so far. The idea is to make this family game night as fun and interesting as possible. Therefore, keep stocked up with tasty snacks, and clean and tidy the entire you’ll be entertaining in too.
5. Create a Gratitude Jar
It’s important to think about your reasons for how to start a tradition with your family. Firstly, they shape new members and create strong and healthy connections with others. Many of us only think of traditions as specific times of the year – such as Christmas or birthdays – and that’s okay. However, we encourage you to expand how much quality time you spend with your family, and inject new and more traditions into your year. Purchase an empty jar (it doesn’t have to be anything special or expensive). Each family member has to write one thing a week they’re thankful for. On New Year’s Day – or any other time – the family opens the jar and looks through the past year’s notes.
The objective of this tradition is to make it simple and easy for everyone to partake in. Not only is it a healthy and positive family tradition to start, but it also encourages us as individuals to reflect on what we’re grateful for. It doesn’t matter what you write about – so long as they mean something to you. However, when you open the jar once a year, it’s a great conversational starter, as well as helping to create a positive environment.
6. Bake/Cook Together
This is one of our favourite family traditions, because it can be as simple or complex as you’d like. If you’re not experienced in the kitchen, try making a tradition out of Sunday breakfast. This should consist of everyone sitting together at the dining table and setting aside half an hour of their day to bond with others. Perhaps each week the breakfast can be different and individuals take it in turns to pick and prepare the food. As a result, this is fair for everyone and every has an equal part.
There’s something about baking and cooking together which creates a strong bond. Many of us love food and making something delicious from nothing is a beautiful thing. Perhaps on the 1st December, everyone could gather together in the kitchen to bake Christmas cookies.
7. Put the Christmas Tree Up Together
Wondering how start a tradition which doesn’t require you to replace something else in your life with it? Well, putting up the Christmas tree together as a family is an ideal activity for you. If you decorate your tree each year, why not do it as a family to make the moment special and less daunting and hard work? Send out invitations in advance to those you want to invite. Ask each individual to bring along their favourite festive food, plus any drinks if applicable.
You can make this experience as personal as you wish. For example, create a music playlist of your families favourite Christmas tracks. Get the decorations out so you’re prepared for everyone to arrive and ensure all attendees know what their duties are.
Books of Family Tradition Ideas
If you’re still wondering how to start a tradition, we’ve searched the Internet for the most helpful books bursting with ideas. Alternatively, these three options make a great gift for someone for Christmas.
1. How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day
This book takes into consideration that, as individuals, we don’t have a huge amount of free time. As a result, these family traditions are easy and non-stressful to add to your life, as well as fun and exciting for everyone involved. Life can move fast and before you know it, children have moved out, and there aren’t many reasons to reunite. However, this book shares some easy-to-add rituals and traditions which are historical and imaginative. Feel free to adapt them to suit your family’s preferences.
2. Simply Tradition: 70 Fun and Easy Holiday Ideas for Families
Filled with 70 ideas on how to start a tradition, this book is insightful and unique. With a particular emphasis on the holidays, you’ll see many references to famous traditions you may have heard of before. However, we love that this book makes it almost impossible to add any of these traditions to your daily life. As a result, you’ll become excited about your days ahead and find it fun getting to know family members on a deeper level.
3. Our Family Traditions: Moments, Milestones, & Memories
This book makes an excellent beginning on how to start a tradition. It carefully touches on the important of family traditions and how they can improve family life. Also, this book makes a great gift idea as you can fill it with pictures and memories of your favourite time with the family. If you choose to purchase this for yourself and your family, it’s a great way to keep up with your traditions. Each page is templated to present ideas and the opportunity to write your thoughts and memories. You can also add more onto each page – depending on your preferences.
Do You Know How to Start a Tradition?
Alternatively, we’d love to hear if you know how to start a tradition. Do you have a special hobby you and your family participate in? Share your experience, and or advice, in the comments to inspire others.