The Importance of Family Traditions

The holiday season is the perfect time for families to spend moments together celebrating old traditions, as well as creating new ones to pass along to future generations. Merriam-Webster defines tradition as “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior."

Your family likely already has some holiday traditions, to which they look forward during this festive season. Often, some of our most cherished holiday memories are of familiar traditions from years past. However, it can be beneficial and fun for young families to incorporate some unique traditions they establish on their own, to accompany the long-standing traditions passed down from older generations. The great thing about traditions is you can have more than one!

A tradition can be as simple as listening to a specific record while decorating the Christmas tree. It can be as simple as using special dishes for a certain occasion. You don’t have to break the bank to create a tradition that will have special meaning for your family for years to come. Feel free to be creative and unique—quirky even, when creating a family tradition of your own. If possible, allow all members of the family to participate in the process.

Traditions are a very special way for family members to bond with each other and create memories. Dr. Abigail Brenner outlines in Psychology Today, some of the reasons traditions are so important and beneficial:

  • Traditions establish and strengthen family bonds by providing a solid structure, a sense of continuity, and a feeling of belonging.

  • Family teaches values. Traditions support and communicate a family’s belief system. They instill faith and convey the family’s perspective on life experiences.

  • The immediate family serve as your witnesses through life’s traditions, sharing and committing to each other in times of joy and celebrations, and lending support and comfort through crises, disappointments and losses.

  • A healthy family unit is a vital force in the nurturing and molding of a child’s identity. Family traditions are a sound way to foster a sense of stability and security, and this contributes to the emotional health, self-esteem, and self-respect of family members.

So go ahead and have a Christmas pajama dance party with your kids this year. Or have a cookie decorating marathon while watching Elf. Whatever you choose, enjoy the time spent with your loved ones!

Sarah Says

Nothing sets a festive mood quite like the perfect holiday playlist! Here are some of my favorites that will be on rotation at our house this Christmas:

1. White Christmas- Perry Como

2. The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole

3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Frank Sinatra

4. Silver Bells- Dean Martin

5. (There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays- Carpenters

6. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Andy Williams

7. Do You Hear What I Hear- Bing Crosby

8. Winter Wonderland- Tony Bennett

9. I’ll Be Home for Christmas- Frank Sinatra

10. Cello Carols- Brent Milligan

Sarah Serves

Mud Pie Mason Jar Trifles

  • Pint Whipping Cream, whipped

  • One box prepared Chocolate Pudding

  • Chocolate Brownies. approx. 3 cups

  • Cookies, (use your favorite, but Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies work well)

  • Crumble brownies and layer on the bottom of your mason jars. Layer with chocolate pudding.

Place cookies in a plastic zipper bag and crumble. Sprinkle the crumbled cookies over the pudding layer.

Top with a layer of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with more cookies and enjoy!