The Importance of Holiday Famly Traditions
No matter what age we are, traditions of holidays past and present give us something all to enjoy and look forward to. Every family has its own favorite holiday rituals, from simple things like making specific cookie recipes and hanging decorations from Christmases of the past, to having elaborate family reunions. If you have young children, make sure to share your treasured holiday memories, and create new ones of your own with them. Instill these important family values early so that they will grow up honoring them naturally. It’s more than just opening presents or putting up a Menorah or Christmas tree. The spirit of the holidays includes being together for quality time, as a family, in whatever way possible. Whether it’s going out to movies as a group, chatting over the phone or internet, taking a day trip somewhere, or having a family pizza party; togetherness like this is the fiber that builds a family stronger.
If your family is hurried, full of everyday multi-tasking responsibilities like mine was, it may take a little teamwork to carry on traditions among the chaos. For example, during my junior year of high school, both my parents were really busy with a sick family member nearby. They weren’t home much, as they traveled the long distance to her nursing home on weekends. Neither of them had the time to get a Christmas tree, nor did they have any energy left after work to bother decorating one. So, taking matters into my own hands was the answer.
While my parents were gone on Christmas Eve, I drove my car to a lot full of Christmas trees. Never having done this before, it was a bit confusing on how to tie the tree on the top of the car, as the kid that helped me didn’t really know how to do it either. Somehow, we got it up there, and I drove home. To my horror, the tree was sliding onto the roof of my car, so the answer to this problem was to speed up. The wind pushed it back as I zoomed the mercifully short distance home, then lugged the tree inside, and stuck it in a stand. It wasn’t the fanciest tree on the lot but who cared, it was a tree. And, since it was Christmas Eve, it was half price, to boot. By the time my parents came home, I had it up and decorated. It brought a smile to both of their faces, during a time that had been anything but happy for them. Despite adversity and misfortune, we had a good Christmas together, watching celebrations on TV and opening presents. Traditions continued, and now it’s easy to look back and laugh at that tree, sliding down the windshield, and the fun we all had together.
As times and situations change, so do some traditions. Our family is spread out around the country now, so we don’t see eachother as much as we did in the past. For the last few years, this has meant sending care packages and gifts, phone calls and cards. Every year I send my parents a new calendar with photos of my artwork or pets, and every year mom sends me homemade cards and dad sends me books. We have fun chatting on the phone during Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year. It’s not the same as being together, but when finances prevent us seeing one another, it’s the best we can do for now, and that’s OK.
We only have one life, and one family. Let the holidays heal petty arguments and disagreements and remember that we only have so many holidays in each of our lives. This isn’t being morbid, it’s a reality that becomes more and more evident the older we all get. Having lost three important family members in the last year, traditions help the rest of us survive and keep going. We have a camaraderie that was built on our lifelong devotion and caring for one another. It hasn’t always been easy, and there were tough years here and there. Still, with integrity, tradition and love; we live our lives to the fullest, no matter what comes our way.
Tags: Family , Children , Parenting , Holiday
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