Traditions Are Memories You Choose To Create
Easter is just around the corner. Do you have any special family traditions?
If not, I would encourage you to start some!
When you choose a family tradition, you are making a memory through consistency and ritual. It takes a little planning (and of course work on the part of the mother) but it is worth the effort.
There is something about saying, ‘We always do this,’ which helps keep the years together. Time is such an elusive thing that if we keep meaning to do something, but never do it, year would follow year with no special thoughtfulness being expressed in making gifts, surprises, charming table settings, and familiar food. Tradition is a good gift intended to guard the best gifts.
In our home for Easter, I love finding pretty spring dresses and white shoes for my little girls, and scouring the Talbot’s Outlet for my teenage girls. (I loved, past tense, dressing my son in plaid shorts and a light blue vest but my husband informs me that he is too old for that now. Okay, he is 13.)
Early Easter morning, I make a huge breakfast with the same menu every year: biscuits and sausage gravy, strawberry crepes, fresh fruit, O.J, and coffee. I decorate the table with hyacinth and tulips. I use my antique china. I put a piece of Peter Rabbit chocolate on each plate along with a piece of jewelry for the girls and a doodad for Matthew. I am up at the crack of dawn and I think of my sisters in Christ who were THERE at the tomb so early that first Easter morning!
We are big on traditions in our family. I don’t know if it is our deep New England roots or an aversion to change that makes us this way, but we love having a rhythm to life.
So why traditions? They give a child a sense of belonging, security and history.
- Traditions connect your child to your individual family. My own children love knowing that “WE do it this way and you are part of US.”
- Traditions connect your child to previous generations. “This was great grandmothers china and she used it on Thanksgiving.” or “Grandmother always made homemade cranberry relish, so we will too.”
- And if you have the luxury of having a godly heritage, your traditions can remind your children of God’s faithfulness to them and to past generations. “Grandpa always supported missionaries, and we will too.” “Opening our home to other Christians is what early Christians did and we are called to do the same.” “God took care of us through this situation and He will care for you, too.”
As we age, traditions brings back memories of time spent with loved ones now gone.
Each family should have some old traditions and some that are unique to just their immediate household. They can be elaborate or simple. But they must be intentional.
Some simple examples:
- “Each year we plant pansies on the first day spring. Let’s go get some!”
- “We stop for ice cream on the way home from church if the temperature hits 90 degrees.”
- “The birthday child always goes out for breakfast with daddy while the other kids decorate the house with surprises.”
Grandparents have their traditions with their grandchildren, and husbands and wives have their own little traditions.
Think ahead to when you have an empty house someday and ask yourself “What are things I want my children to remember?” or “What do I want my grandchildren to value some day?” Then write them down, and slowly start implementing them into your life, being vocal about the fact that you are purposefully going this each year as a family.
You can impact generations for Christ by intentionally choosing your special family times and traditions. It takes forethought, planning and work, but the memories you’ll make and the impact you’ll have are WELL worth it.
You may enjoy this free pdf: Treasuring God In Our Traditions available free here.