When we decide to implement traditions in our homes, what should we look for? Last week, we discussed that considering God and His Word before deciding on which traditions to pursue was the single most important factor to consider.
Besides this, what else is there? Well, there are a number of things that we should look at while thinking about this important topic.
First of all, it is important to take a long and hard look at your own family. What are their likes? What are their dislikes? Families that are busy enough as it is are likely to need simple traditions to fit into their schedule. A family with time to spare might want to look into more in-depth practices. Also, it is important to look at the ages of your children before you plan traditions. It is important to include even small children during these special times, but you do not want to exclude older children either.
Next, you should take a look at your home. What type of environment is it? Do you prefer to light candles and play soft music? Or is your house more fun and loud (and you like it that way!)? Traditions can be solemn and sacred, or fun and bright. It’s up to you! Filling your home with traditions that mirror your family culture is a great way to make sure they will stand the test of time.
If you try a new tradition, and you decide it isn’t for you, then shake it off. There is no need to continuously subject your family to an activity that not many enjoy. It is wise to start small with our traditions, and then we can add to them. Let’s say that you live in a climate where it snows. You might have a tradition to make snowcream after the first good snowfall. You can extend this tradition by sipping hot chocolate by the fire. You can extend it even further by making snowflake crafts with your children. There is not a right or wrong way to do this, and we need to remember that we are free to scale back our traditions at any time.
Traditions are going to look different from family to family. Even if two families celebrate the same holiday, the way that they carry this out will surely not be the same. Another reason why traditions are so great is that they can flow from home to home and from generation to generation. If we move, no problem. Our traditions can come with us! They can be a stabilizing force that our family looks forward to during times of upheaval.
It is okay to keep our family traditions centered around our immediate family. It is okay to celebrate our traditions with extended family and friends. The choice is yours! Please remember that around holidays especially, there is so much busy-ness and noise. Don’t feel guilty if you decide to retreat to your own home, with only your immediate family, to participate in your own quiet traditions from time to time. Your children will relish this time simply devoted to strengthening the fabric of your family.
A great tradition-keeping resource that I have thoroughly enjoyed is the book, The Life Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. The Clarksons lay out many great ideas that we can implement into our homes. Most of the book is laid out in chapters based on the months of the year, and it offers many ideas that are sure to get your tradition-wheels turning.
I hope to be back soon with a printable pack to help with your tradition planning, along with some ideas to implement with our families.
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