Friday, December 4, 2009

This Holidays, Start a New Family Tradition

We often rely on our family of origin for our family traditions. We have been doing them since we were little and they make the holidays feel special to us. This year, why not consider starting a new family tradition for your new or primary family? Traditions add strength and character to families. This family is different than the family that you grew up in- perhaps some new traditions that are tailored to it are in order.

Traditions can be traditional, planned, or spontaneous. They are always start with what is important to you. One of my personal traditions is to have a romantic evening and gift exchange with my girlfriend/wife on Christmas Eve. That is our time. Kids, presents, extended family can come on Christmas day. So think about what is really important to you during the holidays and plan a tradition around it. Make it special. Make it meaningful.

As well, this holiday season look for spontaneous or accidental traditions that may be presenting themselves to you. Maybe you are out of town or busy and cannot get the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve. Decorating the tree on Christmas Eve turns out to be turns out to be a huge hit with the kids and everyone involved. Now you have a family tradition. Or... maybe you get invited to go caroling at the last moment and it turns out to be perfect. What is important is considering what elements you are looking for in a tradition- so you recognize it when it appears.

Even better if it is different than either of your and your significant other's traditions. It gives yourselves, your children, and your parents a signal that this is your family. It is unique and special unto itself. It is not to be measured by any other standards. Your family has its own character and personality. And... it deserves to be celebrated.

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