Monday, June 23, 2014


Traditions are a good thing in our home.

Full Definition of TRADITION

a :  an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)
b :  a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable
:  the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
:  cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
:  characteristic manner, method, or style 
I'd like to focus on number 2 from this definition regarding the customs for this post. There's a great article about family taditions, called Traditions Worth Keeping. It breaks traditions into 3 categories:
1) Traditions that bring spiritual understanding;
2) Tradition that bring cultural understanding; and
3) Traditions that bring family understanding.
It states:

Family traditions are like spiritual and emotional cement in the foundation of a happy home. They create fond memories, and these memories bond us together as nothing else can.

Traditions influence the way we live and the way we look at life. They may be practices or beliefs handed down from generation to generation, or new habits or patterns we establish in our own families.
I love the word they used, "CEMENT". This caused me to reflect upon my own traditions. Growing up, my family had a few traditions such as:
* Christmas PJ's on Christmas Eve
* Unwritten Tradition-- My Christmas PJ's could never fit me after age 12. They had to be purchased in the wrong size. 
* Kids could get into their Christmas Stocking at any point after my parents went to sleep. (So, lots of kids eating candy at 1 am.)
* While my grandpa was alive, Summer Trip to Idaho to visit my grandparents in McCall.
* Get $1 for each tooth we lost--but just gave it to our mom. No toothfairy.
I can't think of any others. Is it a tradition to move a lot? If so, then there's one more. My parents got divorced when I was about to graduate high school. Everything went to complete and utter chaos at that point in my family. Traditions were tossed to the side.
One day, 5 years later, I got married and everything changed. I had a new family to create traditions with. My husband and I were really happy and excited to start traditions of our own.  Here's a few we started:
* Whenever we go to an LDS Temple, we whisper to each other 5 reasons we love eachother in the most beautiful room of the temple, called the Celestrial Room--which represents heaven. 
* We get a Christmas Tree, or if that's not affordable, we make one on the wall.
* We hang Christmas ornaments we made that represent different things we are grateful for.
* We get or I make a new "family" ornament each year with the year written on it.
* The kids get a photo with Santa every year, even though we've told them he's not real.
*When we had children, we adapted one tradition from my past, giving our kid(s) Christmas Eve PJ's--that fit. 

But we have a few new ones.
* On our children's birthdays, they get one balloon for each year they have been alive.
* You get to pick your birthday cake flavor, and mom (me) makes it--except on your 1st birthday--when it's tradition to get a pile of whipped cream on your highchair table.
* Sunday is the Sabbath. We go to church and talk about what we did.
* We eat dinner at the table most of the time.
* We have family scripture study every day.
* We have family home evening once a week.
Skip to today, and my first born child is turning 5 at the end of the week (and I've been married almost 8 years). I am reflecting on traditions that we have and how they've come to be. I realize that being a mom is about making a child feel loved and special. I've used traditions as a resource to consisently unite our family memories at differnt points in the year, to remind us all that we are indeed a group of people called a family and build the bonds, and lastly, to teach our children how to take care of eachother and their future families by spending time together.

So, I'm grateful for good traditions. I look forward to new ones, evolving ones, and for opportunities to share in other's too. I think my next one will involve a no TV week this summer. Good luck with yours! 

1 comment:

jeremy and steph said...

Love it!!! Traditions are the best, you've got some great ones :)