The Holiday season is upon us, and things will undoubtedly look a little bit different this year because of COVID-19. Your family gatherings may be smaller, your usual activities cancelled. Which is why, this year more than ever, family traditions are important. Now that you have a baby, or one on the way, it’s time to start thinking about the traditions that will become a part of your family. Will you get a fresh cut tree from the tree farm? Will you have matching Christmas PJs? Will you make homemade latkes for Hanukkah? Whatever the Holiday, there are so many traditions that can be celebrated.
- Traditions are important to the well-being of a child because they strengthen the family bond. They usually involve a family activity that is free from distractions and fun for all.
- Children thrive off of routines and rituals, which is exactly what traditions are all about. Traditions give them something to look forward to each year, and help to ground them in an otherwise busy time.
- Traditions allow us to pass down cultural and familial heritage. For our children, they are a way to connect with their roots and ancestors. We can share about loved ones who are no longer with us through traditions. Through these activities and rituals that have been practiced for years, we are helping children to discover who they are and where they’ve come from.
- When we partake in a tradition, we are effectively learning and teaching our children about society as a whole. According to Donna Rockwell, Psy.D., “Our traditions act as a compass for all of our human relationships and personal interactions, the qualitative experiences of our family life, and ultimately, the development of civilized societies themselves.”
For Thanksgiving, do you want your children to be aware of what it means to be grateful? Perhaps you have a family tradition of writing what everyone is thankful for on a pumpkin and placing it on the Thanksgiving dinner table. My family loves to cook, so having the children involved in cooking the meal is important to us.
If you celebrate Hanukkah, maybe you have a nightly ritual where you all come together every evening to light the menorah. You could teach your children the dreidel game. Or read a special book together.
Christmas traditions are a-plenty. My advice regarding Christmas is to pick a couple of traditions, and pace yourself. Bake cookies for the neighbors. Take a drive through the neighborhood that has gone all-out with their lights. It is very easy to get overwhelmed trying to cram in all of the Christmas activities that you see other people doing. Do what feels good to you.
Traditions don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Simple is often better. Think about the Holidays you want to be a part of your family, and which components of those holidays you’d like to teach your children about. Remember the traditions that brought you joy as a child, and that you remember fondly today. Let those things guide you in making family traditions of your own. Wishing you and your families a joy-filled holiday season!
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Amanda
Amanda Dixon is a mother of three young children and has her master’s degree in early childhood education. She spends her days homeschooling her kiddos, freelance writing and teaching college. Her favorite things are a good cuppa tea, chocolate chip cookies, books, and her 3 dachshunds.