I grew up in a home without any family traditions. Oh we did the same thing at Christmas time every year, but does repeating something over and over again actually make it a family tradition?

Every Christmas my parents, siblings and I went to our grandparent’s house. There were traditions, but they belonged to my mom and her family. My siblings and I were there, but the holiday customs never truly became ours.

When I had kids of my own, I knew I wanted a different life, a strong family bond with the ones I shared my home with. I didn’t exactly know how I would achieve this goal but it was important and I was just stubborn enough to make it happen.

One thing I focused on was encouraging a deep bond between my kids. I wanted them to rely on each other, to be best friends.

This doesn’t mean they never fought because believe me they did! In fact I grounded them for it once for an entire month. No tv, no electronics, no friends. For 30 days they spent time together playing games of one sort or another. I should also add in that we homeschooled, so it was literally 24/7 sibling bonding time. I’m happy to report that they both survived their childhood torture and are now in fact best of friends 😊

Now as a family of 6 we have traditions that have been cherished for years. Every Christmas Eve we open new matching or coordinating pyjamas and a new game to play together. The kids also open their presents from each other.

Christmas morning starts by opening stockings which are full of essentials – toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, deodorant. I know it sounds lame but if my kids didn’t wake up to stockings full of necessities they’d be appalled! In the past we made egg nog French toast for breakfast but since most of us are eating vegan these days, an alternative crepe recipe is on the menu for tomorrow morning. Once everyone’s eaten and opened their presents from me, we dress up and head to grandma’s house.

Our traditions may not sound like much, but they’re ours and we’ve carried them through almost 2 decades, 7 moves, 2 divorces, 3 more births and many more of life’s ups and downs. We are far from the traditional family but we are solid, we are each other’s support system. No matter where home is, it’s our safe haven. Whatever changes life brings us, we will always have our traditions, which I believe have kept us bonded through all our bumps along the way.

What are some of your family traditions?

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2 thoughts on “Family Traditions – What they are and why I think they matter.

  1. I loved this. Thank you for sharing your traditions. As a child I always found Christmas rushed with moving from house to house and diner to diner. We are a small family of three living in another country away from friends and family. I should say it’s for work and not family avoidance. 🙂 We spend Christmas Eve together watching a movie and having snacks and Christmas day is so relaxed. We open presents and then have our traditional pan of baked French Toast. Later in the day we have a supper chosen by all of us and this year we choose to BBQ. We were invited out for lunch on Christmas Day but my teenager pointed out all the things we wouldn’t be able to do so although we are on our own here we are going to continue with our Christmas Day traditions. Who knows how long our son will be here for every Christmas morning so we will enjoy it as long as it happens.

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