Family traditions help parents and children or relatives stay connected and bonded throughout life. Creating your own unique family traditions can help give your family a strong identity.
New Family Traditions to Try
Don't wait for the holidays or special occasions to create a tradition. Anything you intentionally do at regular intervals as a family can become a tradition if you make it important.
Secret Family Language
Many families have nicknames for each other or inside jokes, but you can take that concept a step further with a secret family language. Make up specific words or an entire language that only your family members are allowed to know. Use your code words at larger family events or when you're out doing activities together.
Go beyond Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday with an all-out themed dinner once per week or month. Choose your day of the week or date in each month and ask everyone to dress, talk, and decorate for the theme. Make sure all parts of the meal and the whole atmosphere fit your chosen theme like:
- Decades - If you picked the 1950's one month, you might wear poodle skirts and eat TV dinners on TV trays while watching The Lone Ranger.
- World Tour - Pretend you're all in a rock band on tour around the world and make each dinner fit the theme of a different country while you're all dressed as rock stars.
- Mini Mondays - Everything you eat and drink should be in miniature portions.
Keep a notebook in a general area of your home. Whenever a family member feels especially loved by another, they can write that experience in the journal. Choose a date each year or month that is special to your family and read the stories aloud.
People often talk about the "olden days," but you can relive them as a family. Choose a date to celebrate Olden Day where everyone has to move through the entire day doing things the "old-fashioned way." It helps to pick a decade to use as inspiration for your Olden Day so everyone knows what modern conveniences they can't use. If you go back far enough, you might find yourselves gathered around the radio or looking for farm-fresh foods to eat.
House Warming Day
Your house is the landing spot for your family. Give it some much needed love and warmth on House Warming Day. Make a list of neglected rooms to clean or minor repairs, and then tackle them all in one day as a group. You'll not only make your house look better, but you'll also reinforce the value of taking pride in ownership.
Obscure Holiday Celebration
Check out a list of weird holidays like National Cookie Day or National Chicken Month and choose one to celebrate. If your family has ten cats, find out when National Cat Day is and celebrate by spoiling your pets, visiting cat rescues, and playing with yarn!
How to Create Your Own Tradition
The best family traditions are those that speak to each member of the family. Gather everyone in a family meeting and discuss what current traditions they love most and why. Use this information to brainstorm new traditions everyone will love. Start with a simple tradition, and then add in elements year after year if you want something more complex.
Combine Common Traditions
Look at common traditions from around the world for birthdays, holidays, or other milestone events to see how you could combine one or two into something new. For example, you could take twelve days of Christmas and an Advent calendar and combine them for a back-to-school tradition. Make your own back-to-school-themed advent calendar for the two weeks leading up to the first day of school and place an image or description of that day's present inside.
Invent Your Own Holiday
What unique experience does your family have to celebrate? Maybe you became a family legally, moved into your home, or your last name rhymes with a specific month. No matter what the cause for celebration, turn your special day into a holiday with specific meals, desserts, or activities.
Redo Something You've Already Done
Sometimes the best place to start is where you've already been. Did you take a vacation last year that everyone loved? Make it an annual trip at the same time each year. Any big or small trip you've taken altogether can easily become a tradition if you plan it year after year in the same way.
Give Your Family Something to Celebrate
Traditions can be as simple as a specific gift given for certain milestones or more complex like a monthly or annual event. Your family is worth celebrating simply because you're together.