The Power of Family Tradition: Giving Meaning to Your Holiday Ritual and Traditions

by Monica Ricci
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Christmas is here, and with it, all the family traditions! Aside from the trees, decorations, and food, one amazing thing about the holiday is the rituals and traditions attached to every family. 

The best part of this time of year is that all rituals and traditions are unique. Not only are they different, they mean various things to everyone. But because rituals always happen, we get so comfortable that they can sometimes lose meaning. Today is about family tradition, what it means, and if you should continue them.

Why do you need a family tradition?

There are 5 things rituals and traditions do for you, making them important. 

Anchoring: 

The first reason you should take rituals and traditions more seriously – if you haven’t – is because it provides you with an anchor. It is easy to get distracted by all the activities of the year. However, with a ritual, you have to pause those activities to satisfy the tradition. For instance, if your family ritual is to declutter, you know that no matter how busy you are, you must find time to declutter your home. 

Certainty: 

For people suffering from anxiety, family traditions provide certainty. It lets you know what to expect at a specific time of the year. Just like anchoring, it keeps you grounded and safe from the constant life uncertainties. 

Bond: 

A family tradition also helps to strengthen family bonds. Many times, family traditions involve sharing experiences. When that happens, the bond gets stronger. 

Enforces love: 

Even without noticing, the holidays and the traditions accustomed to them rekindle family identity. It is usually the time when much-unspoken friction or conflicts gets solved. It is also the time when old friendships ignite again. 

Closes the Distances: 

Some people live far away from home – continents separate some families. However, the traditions (even if they do not physically bring you home) helps you recollect the memories that make you feel close to home. 

Embrace your family culture and create new traditions.

If you don’t already have family traditions in place for this holiday season, create some this year. Pull from family culture to determine what tradition will inspire the people around you. What can bring you together? What will connect you across continents?

Your family customs does not have to be perfect. It only needs to be significant to you and your family. It is okay if you don’t know what to start as a tradition. Experiment with different things that resonate with you. If it works, continue it; if it does not, feel free to make it a one-time thing. You are free to stop a tradition of the past if it does not align with your new values and beliefs. 

If you are unsatisfied with what happens during the holidays, you can change it and create a new tradition. Make sure to include your children in family customs. Note that family rituals only continue if at least one family member chooses to do it. So start building positive family traditions this year!

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