Each family has their own traditions. Uniquely put together by things learned from our own families or intentionally created for new generations. Traditions are important and make each holiday unique and special. This time of year is a great time to start thinking about traditions for your own family. But first, let’s set some ground rules.
Traditions do not need to be extravagant // You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to make something to have a tradition
Traditions do not need to be stressful for anyone // Sure, we’re going to be moms and things will sometimes stress us out. But that isn’t the point. Everyone should look forward to this, including YOU!
Traditions should be fun for all // Everyone should enjoy it. Create traditions that work for the whole family
Traditions should be meaningful, not forced // You don’t need to fill your calendar with things to do, just to do them. Surely you’ll narrow your traditions down as your kids grow and form preferences, but if no one likes hot chocolate, don’t make that a tradition.
Traditions should be created, not searched for // If you want to get ideas from others, that’s great, but make it your own. Don’t search Pinterest for hours and force someone else’s traditions into your life.
When your children are grown, what things do you want them to take with them or come home for? Those are the things that make family traditions even more meaningful. A certain food, ice cream for dinner, or dance parties...whatever it is make it fun.
Now that we have the ground rules, let’s chat about some ideas. Since we’re in November, let’s start there.
Thanksgiving // Watch the parade. Serve at the food bank. Fall fest.
Christmas // Stockings. Advent book countdown. Driving to see lights in pajamas. Carols. Candlelight church service.
New Years // Stay up until midnight. Special dinner. Make countdowns
Birthdays // Homemade cakes. Special breakfasts.
School // Special back to school ideas and/or end of school fun.
If you were to go through each month and find a holiday for your family, what if you brainstormed ideas for making intentional time special? This is a game-changer. In our home, homemade birthday cakes are our thing. I’ve personally made fire trucks, tractors, dinosaur cakes, and more. They aren’t perfect, but they are made with love and my boys love them. For Christmas, I have 23 books that are wrapped and each night the boys rotate taking turns opening one. On December 24, we read the story of Jesus’ birth straight from the Bible. These are just things that we do to create special moments for our family.
We also are intentional about not filling the calendar so that we’re overwhelmed with life. Taco Tuesday, Family Friday...those intentional moments are simple and long-lasting. In the book Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt, he writes about traditions like Mission Monday, Teaching Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Family Friday, and Serving Saturday. They created themes and have stuck to them as their kids have grown. What a tradition to create!
In summary, traditions are important. But it’s more than just the holiday season. Incorporating special traditions throughout the entire year makes all year fun. Know your limits and stick to them. I pray that you have fun creating your family’s fun. I pray that they are something your children look forward to long after they are grown. Create traditions that are intentional, purposeful, and long-lasting. It will be worth it. And if something doesn’t work out….change it!
Guest post by: Lacey Rabalais