Sunday, February 22, 2009

Making Traditions

When your grandchildren come to visit you in forty years, what holiday memories will they want to talk about most? What stories will they want to share with their own new families? Traditions are a vital part of childhood, and they can be as easy or as elaborate as you’d like. Do you have traditions that are helping you make memories with your family?
What does a tradition have to entail to be a ‘keeper’? Well, for starters, it helps if it is enjoyable! No one wants there to be a tradition based on “wedgies”. Your new tradition must include the whole family in attendance…well, except for your crazy drunk uncle who is drooling on your husband’s new leather recliner. And the last important detail is that you repeat your tradition every year.
You can start simple. Do something that feels fun and easy this year. Each person can tell a joke at the dinner table. A meaningful, yet simple tradition is to go around the table during dinner having each person share what they are thankful for in this holiday season. Maybe your family can play a game while you all enjoy coffee and dessert. If you are the “keepsake” type, you can make something each year. That is one of my family’s favorite holiday traditions. Each Thanksgiving, we have a homemade ornament-making session. My sister and I choose a specific idea and get all of the materials ready to go. Then after dinner, we all come together to make an ornament. Most of the time we can’t convince the men to join in…football and naps, you know?
Remember that your “new” tradition has to repeat each year. An easy way to get that started is to write down what you do and tuck it away in a safe holiday place; sticking ideas with your decorations or favorite holiday recipes is a great tip. You can also write down ideas that you’d like to try next year.
Making new traditions for your family is a simple way to bring you all together to create “shared memories”. Those will be the stories your kids and grandkids will tell over and over.


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