Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I think that is because I have such fond memories from my childhood of the holidays. I am blessed to be part of a family that has some very special traditions that we have passed down for many years. Meg Cox, author of e Book of New Family Traditions, defines family ritual as “any activity you purposefully repeat together as a family that includes heightened attentiveness and something extra that li s it above the ordinary ruts.” Traditions, when done right, lend a certain magic, spirit, and texture to our lives.
Traditions Cultivate Spiritual Growth
“Traditions that bring family members closer to God should be a family’s first priority” (Beebe). In the business of the season, make sure you make some time as a family to remember the true reason for the season. One simple way to do this is to get a nativity advent calendar (each child will get one during the children’s sermon on the first Sunday of advent) and each day open one of the aps. You can also attend Winter Wonderland on December 10 at TriPoint and come to the Christmas music presentation on December 4 in the Sanctuary. One of my favorite traditions that we do as a family together is the Christmas Eve service at Trinity on the Mulberry campus.
Traditions Bring Generations Together
In his book e Secrets of Happy Families, author Bruce Feiler argues that grandparents serve as humanity’s “ace in the hole.” Sociologists and family researchers have found that children who have a high level of grandparental involvement have fewer emotional and behavioral problems. Moreover, high grandparental involvement is also correlated with lower maternal stress and higher involvement from dad. Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate with multiple generations.
Traditions Help Create Family Identity
Traditions are important because they can provide a source of identity, they often tell a story about a family and strengthen the family bond (McKay, 2013). Researchers actually report that “families who engage in frequent traditions report stronger connection” (McKay, 2013). Children desperately want to belong somewhere, traditions help create a time and place of belonging. As your children get older, let them have some input in your family traditions. Try to make sure that each family member has an opportunity to connect to the tradition and find it meaningful.
Traditions Should Be Fun
Remember every family is unique. Find traditions that “ t” your family and are fun. A few years ago I wanted to create a new “fun” tradition for our family. Taking into account the personalities of my husband and our two children, I surprised them all with matching Christmas pajamas. I wasn’t sure how they would all react to the idea. I was so delighted that when I gave them their pj’s, not only did they love them, but they insisted on a fun family picture that now we take every year.
Send me an email at DPotter@TrinityBaptist.org some of your family traditions and let me know if you start some new ones this year… Have a merry merry Christmas!!!