Throughout my life I have been introduced, experienced and observed many traditions. There is so much beauty to be found in the similarities as well as the differences in the habits and rituals we all have in some part of our lives.
With life being so fast paced and families always on the run, I find family traditions to be more important then ever. No matter what the tradition is or the focus may be, to have something our children, spouses and family know are the cornerstone of our beliefs is crucial.
When I think back about various times in my life, whether good or bad, I can’t help but remember things that were a mainstay in my family. Things that really made up what my family was about and who I am today.
My grandparents were very strong Christians. Of course Christmas is a very meaningful holiday we celebrate as Christians, they celebrated in a very different way then most. They never owned a Christmas tree or put up decorations. Their love for Jesus was strong but they felt Christmas got lost and became very materialistic. One of the things they did with their 3 children; they would pick a family in need and buy groceries and just a few toys for the children in the household. They would leave the packages outside the family’s home or give it to the local pastor. My grandparents never told anyone it was them that did it, they wanted the glory to be given to God and not to them.
I never received a Christmas gift from my grandparents growing up. I won’t lie, there were times I didn’t understand this value they held. As I got older I saw the selflessness and purity of this belief they held for their family.
As my own family has grown and traveled down tumultuous roads I have found one of the things that make us who we are is our traditions. The kids almost rely on those consistencies.
Here are just a few things we do to carry forward our beliefs some spiritual and some just quirky.
1. No matter where we are or what we have planned we attend candle light service on Christmas Eve. The majestic feeling of praising Jesus in God’s house with the lights off and holding our candle is a feeling like none other. His presence is magnificent.
2. On Christmas day we have a birthday cake for Jesus so that we are in constant remembrance of the reason we celebrate this day.
3. My husband takes the kids to his ancestors grave sights (whether he has ever met them or not) and places flowers several times a year.
4. Corned beef and cabbage is a must on St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve also been known to wear cute little leprechaun antlers the whole day.
5. We try to spend most nights having dinner at the table as a family. With everyone growing up and having there own activities it’s sometimes rare to have everyone at the table at once. At various times throughout the year we make it a point to go around the table and say what we are grateful for and how we plan to be of more help to the family unit.
6. Family game night and/or family movie night. Priceless moments are made on these nights. We have had our share of feel good moments, laughs, arguments and of course the occasional brawl…. never dull in our home.
There are so many things that we do as a family, and even on an individual basis with our children. Our kids will hold on to these things in their hearts for the rest of their lives. These are the memories those we love can look back on fondly, some may even bring a smile or a laugh.
What are some traditions you and your family practice?
I was grateful for a long weekend with my husband and children. We had a wonderful (yet exhausting) Thanksgiving and a weekend filled with a soccer tournament. What more can I ask for? Food and soccer!!!!!! These past 4 days had some difficult moments. I feel my husband and I were able to look at the challenges we face and are able to take them head on as a family. The key for me is constant prayer and communication.