The Importance of Family Holiday Traditions

carriage ride chicago

Family traditions are wonderful, aren’t they? The anticipation. The preparation. Knowing that your family has done this in the past and will continue to do so makes an activity powerful. Hopefully, these traditions are also a load of fun, mostly because you spend time together as a family!

The Winter Holiday Season offers great opportunities to have fun traditions with your family. Baking special cookies, throwing parties, caroling, sledding, cutting down a real tree, etc. Whether you are carrying on family traditions or starting new ones, there are so many options. However, the season is short and there is a lot to do – gift buying, baking, wrapping, Holiday parties, decorating, and writing and addressing cards, to name a few. Agh! Don’t let the stress of the Holiday Season overwhelm you where you forget to have fun or start traditions your family will look forward to year after year. After all, the Holidays are all about family.

You may already have a few traditions in place but I want to inspire you to start a new one this year or add to an existing holiday tradition to make it even more fun. There are so many activities around the Holidays like plays, concerts, and parties to keep your family in the fun. But it’s also nice to just relax, stay in, maybe light a fire, admire your decorations, and have fun in your home.

What is a tradition?
According to Merriam-Webster:

    a tradition is an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)ul>

    It is also:

      the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction

    It is essential that traditions continue year after year to become ingrained in your family’s culture but that doesn’t mean they are inflexible. Most family traditions change a little over time as your kids grow older or new members join the family. That’s perfectly fine! It’s the intent behind the tradition that shouldn’t change – remembering Grandma, spending time together, giving back to others less fortunate, etc. So, don’t let any of the Holiday stress or change get in the way of carrying on the fun.

    Do you know which traditions your kids love? Ask them today. I was surprised that my son’s favorite family tradition was going to the Christkindlmarket in Chicago every December. He loves the smell of the German sausages, eating outside in the cold, looking at all of the wooden nutcrackers, the beautiful Christmas lights, and spending time downtown with our family and most years, our best friends too. I love this tradition too but I was surprised it was his #1 tradition. My daughter’s? Taking a carriage ride around downtown Chicago to see all of the Christmas lights.

    Tune in tomorrow for my “Recipe” on How to Create Strong Family Holiday Traditions.

    What are your favorite family Holiday traditions?

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