(This article originally appeared at DaffneeCohen.com)
Tradition is one of the most beautiful ideologies we have created and experience as living and loving humans. There is no cookie cutter outline for what your tradition should look like, who you should share it with or how it should grow over time.
Tradition remains one of the few practices that truly belongs to your family and close friends, and allows you to cherish the very valuable memories created with your loved ones over the years. While maintaining family tradition is important, it can be a challenging feat with the fast paced and technologically driven world we occupy today.
Sometimes, tradition is smooth and simple, presenting itself naturally and by habit as the holidays, years and months pass. Other times, it requires more planning and effort on behalf of multiple people, which can of course make the event at hand, seem more tiring or cumbersome. Pros and cons accepted, preserving and nurturing your family traditions are healthy, warming and keep you close to your family and roots. Here are five reasons why you should make a conscious effort to recognize, maintain and enjoy your family traditions!
1. Tradition is constant. Our lives are fast-paced, high-stress, busy and all over the place. Things change so rapidly and what we attach ourselves to can come and go with the blink of an eye. Tradition gives us an opportunity to live in the moment and enjoy something that we have created as a family. It gives us the chance to slow down, appreciate and express gratitude towards the things in our lives that are not run by technology and busy demands. As people, jobs, money and things make their way in and out of our lives, our family traditions can be here to stay, if you let them!
2. Traditions give you something to look forward to. Have you ever had a vacation in the near future that makes work and all of your day-to-day tasks more enjoyable? It’s so nice to have something fun and enjoyable in the horizon. We are human and just as tradition is important, changing up our day to day is equally important. Having a family event brought on by tradition to look forward to makes everyday life that much better. One of my family traditions includes making tamales from scratch every single year while we drink mimosas, listen to music and joke and laugh all day. Maybe it’s time start creating some more tradition, even if it’s something as simple as once a month pot luck dinner. What traditions do you have to look forward to his holiday season?
3. Tradition is really enjoyable. Seriously, there is no better feeling in the world than knowing I get to watch The Grinch with my family every year before Christmas. We all have dinner, lay on the couch, eat popcorn, turn all the Christmas lights on and revel in the family favorite. It brings me so much stress relief and so much happiness to enjoy this tradition we have created each year. Traditions tend to consist of social events, eating, drinking and other fun and memorable experiences. Enjoy it!
4. Tradition won’t preserve itself. Tradition is nothing without you, your family, your laughs, your ideas and your memories. It’s not something that exists outside of us, but rather within us and our energy. If you’re not preserving your family tradition, who is? It’s time to step up as a leader in your family and encourage that these traditions happen each year. Like I said, sometimes these traditions require more planning and preparation, but if this isn’t worth it, what is? If those around you are feeling bored or tired of the same old routine, do your best to communicate how important it is for the young people in your family to experience that routine. You could even try suggesting something new in addition to the tradition to make it innovative and different.
5. Tradition keeps us grounded and focused. While both good and bad distractions present themselves every day, tradition does an excellent job of keeping us focused on the things that are truly important. It keeps us grounded and close to our families, and exemplifies the love we have for each other and the importance of being together. Let tradition be your anchor.
Whether your tradition involves wearing fuzzy socks while eating pumpkin pancakes on Christmas morning, or jumping in the pool at midnight on New Year’s Eve, treasure it. Enjoy it and talk about it. Tell your family how much you enjoy these occurrences that sometimes don’t ever get the official ‘tradition’ title. Create new traditions as your family grows and emphasize how important it is to share these memories with the people you love most. As you grow older, keep your childhood traditions alive and let them grow and change with you as your family starts to experience them as well. If you’re reading this and having a hard time pin pointing what your traditions looks like, get started today; it’s never too late. Call up your family or even close friends and make some of these memories happen. Happy holidays and may all of your traditions be as beautiful as you’ve ever remembered them to be.