I’ve spent quite a bit of time planning family traditions since becoming a mom. I love traditions, but I have kind of unintentionally established some ground rules as I’ve planned them. I usually end up asking myself the following questions before implementing a tradition:
Is this tradition sustainable? Is it realistic to continue doing this with my family?
Is this tradition flexible? Am I willing to bend a bit to make this tradition more sustainable or is this something I’m set on?
Does this tradition make my life too busy? Do I need five Christmas traditions? Do I need a tradition for every holiday? Does anyone actually care if we do this?
Can this tradition be built upon? Can more people join? Can we adjust as the kids get older?
I really just want to be intentional with our traditions because I really, truly believe a few things to be true:
If we make everything special than nothing is special
Our lives are too sweet to become too busy
Traditions are meant to be a time to savor family and the slow and steady pace of life, not planned down to the minute (easier said than done, right!?)
Traditions are not meant to put more pressure on mom
Let’s talk about that last statement for a minute. This is a generalized statement, but for the most part, I plan the traditions and “fun” in my family. My husband helps implement, for sure, but I plan most things. Sometimes it can just be too much.
One day I was discussing family traditions with some friends and we all reflected on things like:
“My mom filled my entire room with balloons on my birthday morning every year.”
“My mom always hid our Easter baskets, including my dad’s.”
“My mom spent hours making homemade gingerbread house molds.”
Get Your Kids Involved!
Listen, these things are great. I want to do a lot of these things for my kids. But that conversation really made me think and I decided that I don’t want to be the carrier of all the traditions. I want everyone involved.
All that being said, I only have a few traditions that I hold fast to and the most important one to me is FAMILY BLESSINGS! You can learn more about how to give a blessing here.
We started family blessings in the mornings and we all love it. I bless my kids every day before school and one day, instead of me blessing all three kids, we got in a circle and we all blessed the person to our right.
Like everything else, it took some practice and they were not pumped about it at first.
Initially, I would bless the first person and then everyone would copy what I said. This is a great start! Eventually they started making up their own blessings. Sometimes they end up being more of “I hope you’re nice to me today” or “I hope you win at football” but I try not to correct them or encourage them to add anything. The point is that they are heartfeltly blessing each other, not perfectly blessing each other.
It has become a favorite tradition and they often remind me as we are headed out the door. I hope this continues and that they grow more and more comfortable blessing each other, praying over each other, and requesting prayer from each other as they grow up.
I encourage you to get your kids involved in this stuff. Creating the family dynamic that you want does not have to fall on you and you alone, spread it out. It takes a little effort to teach our kids to do these things, but it’s totally worth it once they pick up on it.