Family traditions are like family heirlooms–sacred and likely to be passed down for generations. We hold on to these traditions tightly because they represent our family values, connect us together and give us a strong sense of belonging. They also tell a compelling story of who we are, where we come from and what is important to us. When these traditions are practised over and over again, our children grow up with a large bank of childhood memories that continue to benefit them long into adulthood.
And the best part? These traditions don’t have to be expensive or complicated. For those looking to start a family tradition, here is a list of five simple ones that are sure to create a lasting impression.
1. Start a Weekend Family Activity
It may not always be easy to have daily family dinners or be on time to tug your children into bed because of work commitments. To make up for that, try and pick one day during the weekend for some tech-free time with the family. Cycling by the beach, walking in the park or even cooking a big breakfast as a family are some easy routines to ensure the family gets together for at least one activity after a busy week.
2. Pass Down Special Family Recipes
When it comes to cooking up a storm in the kitchen, everyone can be a part of it–from the young to the old. Because, what better way to bond with family than over food, right? Pick a traditional family recipe that has been passed down to you and teach your children how to prepare, cook and serve it. Then, as you enjoy the meal together, take the opportunity to share the fond memories the meal has revived for you and the story of how the recipe came to be in your family’s possession.
But don’t just stop there. You can also try creating personalised recipes that are unique to your family so that your children can go on to share these memorable meals with their children in future.
3. Go on Random Family Picnics
There is nothing like an outdoor picnic to bring the extended family together to feast on homemade food and play fun games under the sun. And the best part? The children get to use their outdoor voices while the adults connect through conversation and bond over food! If this is a tradition you think your family might enjoy, consider investing in a good picnic basket that can take your family through its picnicking years and then pass the basket down to your children when they go on to have families of their own.
4. Store Memories in a Jar
Who doesn’t love looking back on happy memories? All you need to start this simple ritual is a jar, a stack of unused papers and a pencil. Place these items somewhere that is easily accessible in your home. Every time something happy or funny happens, jot it down on a piece of paper and pop it into the jar. Open up the jar with your family a year later and reminisce the happy memories that have made their way inside. Once you are done, empty the jar out and set it back in place ready to collect memories for the coming year! A jar full of happy memories is chock full of positive vibes and is a simple tradition that teaches your children to focus on the bright side of life.
5. Make Charity an Annual Affair
Thanks to tidying guru Marie Kondo, we now know that decluttering is healthy for the mind and soul. It is also a fun way to get the family together to count the blessings received over the years and set aside preloved items that can be donated to charity. Not only does this tradition encourage family bonding, it also teaches our children the important lesson of focusing time and energy on the less fortunate on a regular basis. After all, children with charitable parents are more likely to continue their charitable ways when they become parents themselves.