This time of year, I am constantly reminded of Traditions. When Ashley, Jack, and I moved in with Mary and Joe, we, as a family, had to start over with creating new family traditions. To me, Traditions are important and something that every family should work to continue.
There is a reason why you started a tradition. Maybe it is to honor a family member that has passed, or maybe it is an easy way to show love for one another. Whatever the reasoning is, it is important to continue.
One of the first things that I started was during Christmas of 2010, when I created a video of our family and presented it to my aunt and uncle. Now, every year, it has become a tradition for us to watch these videos. In these videos, it included pictures of the past year, and what all we have accomplished. It is a great way for us to remember great memories, and to celebrate the accomplishments of one another.
Another tradition that we have started during Christmas time, is a Secret Santa between the 6 kids. Right after Thanksgiving, everyone will draw a name from a hat, and are supposed to keep it a secret for who each of us has. Then on Christmas Eve night, we will all open these gifts. It is a wonderful way to remind one another how much we care about them by giving them a thoughtful gift.
Traditions have been sometimes the glue that has held our family together. With Ashley, Jack, and I coming into the family at such a late stage, this has been what has made us feel as if we are a part of their family. These traditions were not their traditions, but OUR traditions as a family.
These traditions help nurture that family connection, and sometimes mend broken connections.
Another weird family tradition that we have started, and continued, is that we always go to a Chinese Restaurant on Christmas eve, after attending Mass together. I honestly cannot tell you why this started, but it has continued, and it is a fun way for us to get together as a family and share in a meal with one another.
Traditions often provide a source of identity for a family as a whole. When you hear about certain rituals that families take part in, it can better help you understand the identity of a family. This can also include sharing the history of where the family has come from, which can provide a sense of identity for everyone in the family as a whole.
For example, my great-grandpa moved here from Croatia and started his own business, to provide for his family during the Great Depression. This business is still around today. Every time I enter that building, I am reminded of my great-grandpa, and his hard work to get our family to where we are today. This makes me PROUD of the family I come from, and where I see my family going.
Traditions offer a time to slow down, and just enjoy the tradition at hand. We live in such a fast-paced world, and sometimes we are so wrapped up in what is going on in our own lives, that we forget to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N and celebrate where we are as a family, and where we have been; how we have grown as a family.
Traditions provide a time for families to catch up with on another. This can go hand in hand with our above point. We get so wrapped up in what is going on in our own lives, that we forget to check in on one another. It is vital that we show one another that we are here for each other. Traditions provide an opportunity to check in on one another and show one another that we still see the importance in getting together and sharing in this ritual that was created for a purpose.
Lastly, some traditions remind us of the importance of giving back. “We are on this earth to S-E-R-V-E O-T-H-E-R-S!” Instilling the importance of giving back to others is such an important aspect of family traditions. Providing the family with the opportunity to see the value in giving back, helps strengthen the bond between the family. It feels good to do good. By instilling this incredible tradition in your children, this will create a more caring environment within the family, and more importantly, instill the desire to give back to others when they get older.
Traditions are important. As we have grown and evolved as a family, and learned more about one another, we have added certain traditions, or tweaked certain traditions to fit how our family works. Nevertheless, these traditions have continued, and will continue as we continue to grow as a family.