I’m a sucker for traditions. I love those special things that I do with my family, friends, or spouse. Most of us can look back on the holidays we spent as young ones, and the simple things we did that bring joy to our hearts, just in remembering. This love for special things isn’t new, but it’s easier to put into action than ever (and just one of the reasons we all love Pinterest so much. You can get ideas galore for just about anything you’d like to do!).
Traditions is a word we like to use these days, not really in the context the word was originally meant to mean. Traditions, nowadays, are essentially special habits we have within the context of close relationships that help create or reinforce a special bond with those people. With that in mind, here are six ways traditions can bring a load of fun into your life!
- Traditions add a sense of adventure to otherwise everyday moments. A few months ago, I shared about my husband’s and my special date night tradition of going on Alphabetical Date Nights, and the idea caught fire with our readers. Why did this idea capture our imaginations? Going on date nights is a great thing to do, but by adding a tradition into the mix, it makes those dates very unique and can help create adventures you would never otherwise have.
- Traditions create a family culture. One of my very favorite things to do, growing up, was opening our Christmas stockings. A lot of money wasn’t poured into the stockings, and the gifts were quite small- fruit, pencils, lip gloss. But, to me, the way every stocking had our names on them and the way in which we opened them all just contributed to this special time that I still look back on with immense fondness. Part of my family’s culture has always been the ability to have a fun family celebration together without the amount of money spent really mattering, and the stockings reinforced that. We could get pencils and fruit and lip balm without having stockings, but the emphasis on everyone’s stockings having slightly different items, crafted just with them in mind, made me feel like the moments we shared around the Christmas tree were like no one else’s.
- Traditions create the sense that everyone involved is special. I love having my niece & nephew over to spend the night, and we rarely do anything that costs money. However, we always end up having a wonderful time because of the specific attention given to doing special things together, like baking, going to the lake, and playing games, and always, always playing Mario Karts. My cousin wrote this wonderful blog post about the Family Fun Box she and her family use together with a list of wonderful ideas for free-to-expensive outings you can go on with your family. What it always boils down to, for me, is that I don’t have traditions with just anyone, and the people I do share traditions with are really special to me.
- Traditions make holidays more fun! When I got married, I told my husband I really wanted us to create some holiday traditions together, even before we started having children. With both of us on the same page, we sought out a thing or two we could do on a yearly basis, like opening presents on Christmas Eve next to the Christmas tree with only the Christmas lights on, or attempting to go on a special New Year’s Eve trip to a new city every year. Will our traditions always stay the same and will new traditions never be introduced? Of course not, but I can tell you we have had really special New Year’s Eves together just by having made the decision to make a New Year’s Eve tradition!
- Traditions help create lasting memories. How many of your memories as a child are centered around special things your family did? Many of mine do! I remember fondly the birthday meals we would have, with the birthday person’s favorite meal being served, or the holidays spent grilling outdoors. Something I have really embraced, personally, is the fact that traditions contribute to creating special moments that become special memories.
- Traditions can be simple or complex, but they should always be personal. Growing up in my family, we always put the Christmas lights up early- once as early as October 31st, and only ever as late as Veteran’s Day. We would decorate the tree together with Christmas music on, and a wonderfully personal atmosphere was created. One Valentine’s Day, my parents would give us a box of sweethearts. These were things that were personal to my family, and regardless of whether other families did the same, it created a sense of “My family celebrates this holiday this way.” These personal family traditions are exactly what instilled in me this love for traditions and desire to pass them on and create new ones for my own little family, even while it is just my husband & me in our little home.
Traditions can be a wonderful way to create intimate, fun moments with those we love most. Take some of the ideas from this post, the family fun box post, or the date nights post and create some new family traditions before this year is up. And- don’t forget!- comment below and let us know some of your favorite family traditions!
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