Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Significance of Family Traditions

For as long as I can remember my family has made a big deal out of celebrating Christmas. We started off December by racing to see who would get to move the piece on the advent calendar each day, made a point to decorate sugar cookies, and we always seemed to have Christmas music playing in the background.

However, one of my very favorite traditions of the season was a tradition that my oldest brother created long before I was even around. I don’t know how old he was when this started, but he somehow pushed our parents into letting him wake up at three am to open his stocking. From then on we set our alarms with anticipation and excitement on Christmas Eve and woke up around three am every Christmas morning to open our stockings.

We would spend the next four hours reading the books we got, eating our candy and jerky, and eventually falling asleep together in a heap on the living room floor because it was only after our parents woke up around seven am that we were allowed to open the gifts under the tree.

This tradition is one that we looked forward to every year, and even after we’d grown and gone to college we still made an effort to continue it because of the fond memories we had from our childhood.

Traditions are important for every family because they help provide the family with:
  • a sense of identity 
  • strengthen familial bonds 
  • offer security 
  • teach values 
  • pass on cultural or religious heritage 
  • create lasting memories 

They don’t have to be expensive, stressful, or take a lot of time or resources, but they can still provide some wonderful memories for your children, and help you feel closer together as a family.

For more information and a great guide to establishing family traditions click here.

What are some of your favorite traditions from your childhood? Which ones will you pass on to your own children?

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