One of our boys was so excited about an early morning event recently that he woke up at 2:30AM raring to go. Needless to say, Dad was not. We managed to persuade our son that it was a bit early and he did manage to sleep until 5:30.
We laughed about it afterwards.
The reason for his excitement? The same event has happened every year for the past 5 years and now it’s an annual fixture. A family tradition.
With Easter just gone and summer on the horizon, we want to talk about the value of making memories by creating family traditions. Especially by using regular calendar events whether they be religious or not.
Family traditions are a great way for your kids to know that they belong, that they are loved and that they are an important part of something bigger than themselves. It's a great way of helping them feel secure and rooted as little people.
There are special days and events in our regular calendar year that you can use to do special things for your children. Such days will stick with them into adulthood and may even be carried on by them into future generations.
Start when they are young and they will help you to remember, be sure of that!
Here are a few ideas from our mixed culture family (American/British):
Valentine’s Day - Americans are pretty good at using this day as an excuse to spread a little love. It doesn’t have to be just romantic love - send a Valentine’s day card to your children THROUGH THE POST with a stamp on and watch your kids’ faces light up with wonder when they read their name hand-written on the envelope and the message in the card.
Pancake Day - Pancakes for breakfast or dinner is a winner (especially with some bacon and maple syrup!). As this is also the start of Lent for Anglicans and Roman Catholics this might be the last time you eat some of this food for a month or so. Did you know that in South America this day is called Mardi Gras which means Fat Tuesday (:D Sorry random fact - I love that!)?
Easter - For the last few years, our Church family have been doing a Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday in Richmond park to celebrate Jesus rising from the dead. It’s early, it’s a bit crazy but lots of fun and the kids love it! It has become a great family tradition for us and other families in the Church.
Last day of the summer term - We go for ice cream and a goofy family selfie to celebrate the end of school. This year we might be having it home if the coronavirus restrictions remain, but it’s a tradition we will want to honour in some way.
Family traditions don’t have to be expensive and complicated. And they don’t always need to be planned out. Sometimes they just happen! So keep your eyes open to the great things you do together as a family and you might spot something that can become a family tradition.