Family traditions come in all shapes and sizes and are treasured by family members throughout several decades. There is a feeling of comfort and warmth that can come over a person when they are participating in something that they know is important and a feeling of pride when a parent or grandparent can pass down a tradition to his children or grandchildren.
Family traditions can also involve capturing important moments in film. Keeping a scrapbook, or lining pictures along the wall of your child for every age so that you can see how they have grown or by taking out the photo albums every birthday in order to reminisce.
One family went so far as to religiously photograph themselves every year on the same date, in order to see how they progressed and aged. This started in 1976 with mom and dad, and included pictures of their children from the year they were born through 2006. The results of this family tradition are astounding as it is a chance for them to stop time and see how they changed over time. It is also a great idea for all families who want to start a tradition of chronicling their lives with film.
Some parents will take yearly Christmas pictures of their children, leaving the most recent one on the wall for the entire year. Every year, the new picture would go in the frame on top of the previous year’s picture, giving parents a collection of holiday portraits of their children. Some might do collages of their child in a big frame from birth through the first year, a picture from every month, showing how their baby had changed and grown throughout the first year alone. Photography is a great way to involve tradition in your family.
Family traditions can be something little or big and take place as various times of the year. Holidays are a popular time that people abide by family traditions whether it is Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
As a kid, Christmas was a holiday that held a lot of tradition in my family. Every year my mom and I would go to my aunt and uncles house on Christmas Eve to spend the night. Dinner would be something light and easy, normally sandwiches and chips. In the evening my mom, aunt, uncle, cousins and myself would play games like Pictionary and Charades for hours. Before bed we would go outside and look for a flashing red light in the sky, which my uncle swore to us kids was Rudolph’s nose.
On Christmas day all the kids would wait at the top of the stairs for the adults to call us down so that we could see what Santa brought. My uncle the chef always made the turkey, and I always made the gravy. My aunt would have the “Gray Family Applesauce Bread” for all to take home, and lots of fudge lying around for a treat. We always HAD to have my grandmothers chocolate pecan pie, so much so that we had to call her for the recipe when she became too ill to make the trip.
Easter in your family might have consisted of re-hiding the Easter eggs a dozen times so that the children can search them out repeatedly every year. In the fall some families hold traditional pumpkin carving contests, letting a friend or neighbor judge. Traditions make people happy, they make people feel comfortable and help them leave their problems at the door for one day, or at least for a few hours.
Some families have the tradition of a yearly holiday away from it all just for them. They use this time to reconnect and get to know each other again. This time may be a vacation to a family amusement park, Hawaii, or to grandma’s house. They may even include a yearly, quick trip over spring break to a nearby beach or mountain resort that the family likes to go back to every year. These family traditions are what the kids will remember as they grow up, go off to college and begin families of their own.
Family traditions are an important part of any family. Whether the traditions are small, like the chocolate pecan pie, or grand like the trips to the beach, they are a great way for a family to bond, and pass down the importance of relationships and togetherness. It is never too late to start a family tradition of your own.
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