This year I published a book on traditions! I’d been warned by other authors that when the book finally publishes, you can feel a bit worn out from the topic!
Thankfully, this has not proved to be true for me. I believe this is true because family traditions is such a rich and powerful topic. Talking about family traditions never seems to get old for me! Nearly every conversation I have with someone reveals some wonderful tradition someone enjoys that, honestly, I’d never even thought of!
Some are silly (giving the “slow clap” when Mom or Dad makes a great dinner), some are sad (planting a tree for a miscarriage and visiting it regularly) and some are inspiring (writing your kids a poem on each birthday).
Family traditions are the lifeblood of families, I believe.They are the things that anchor our days, our weeks, our years — and remind us what matters.
Here are a few powerful family traditions you may not have considered:
• Alternate family vacation and mission trip every other year.
I wish I could remember who told me this one, but it was so inspiring to me. We know intrinsically the power of serving together; this is a powerful tradition that makes it happen.
• Celebrate a “Celebrating God’s Faithfulness to Our Family” Day.
One mom told me her family celebrated a holiday every year in May where they remembered all the answered prayers for their family. They decorated a cake with meaningful reminders of answered prayers. What a powerful holiday!
• Use the power of the Scavenger Hunt.
I still remember the Easter we had a giant, personalized scavenger hunt to find our baskets. It was the biggest thrill. I’ve heard some families do it for birthdays. You can do for the last day of school to reveal a fun activity. You could do it on Christmas regularly for the “big gift.” There are infinite ways to implement this magical, memorable tradition!
• Family Rock Collection.
But here’s the catch. Collect these rocks on your adventures at parks, walks, campsites, and outings. Date them and list the location and use them to fill a jar as a reminder of your adventures together.
Are you longing to create meaningful traditions with your family? Want some suggestions for traditions about faith, relationships, rest, work, and vacation? Check out Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home.
Jessica Smartt is a former English teacher turned homeschooling mom of three. A week after her first baby was born, she began her motherhood blog "Smartter" Each Day. Jessica and her husband live in sunny North Carolina, where she loves hikes with the kids (mostly), steaming coffee in the afternoon, family bike rides, and anything that's ever been done to a baked potato. In March Jessica released her first book, Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home.