Why Are Family Traditions Important?

Christmas Traditions

Your Family Has Traditions

Whether or not you set out to create them, your family has traditions. Some you have intentionally continued on, having had them passed down to you, some you may have purposely started with your family and others you have cultivated by your unintentional actions or inaction.

Why Traditions?

Traditions, of course, are year round however I suppose that traditions are most thought about during the Christmas season. Our family has many traditions that we enjoy throughout December. Traditions can be such a great asset to your family. While there are probably more, as I write, I think about what my first hand experiences have taught me about traditions. They can:

  • Foster family unity
  • Instill a sense of belonging
  • Teach and reinforce biblical and family values
  • Be fun
  • Give something to look forward to, and also something to look back on

Be Intentional!

I think we need to be intentional about our traditions, not mindlessly following the traditions of men. The bible warns about traditions of men, the context is a little bit different but I think you know where I am going. Just make sure you know why you are doing something, not like this poor woman below:

As a little girl watches her mom prepare the Easter ham, she wonders why her mother cuts off both ends of the ham before putting it in the pot. So, she asks why, and her mom realizes that she doesn’t know. That’s the way her mother prepared the Easter ham.

So they call grandmother and pose the question about cutting off the ends of the Easter ham. Grandmother admits to not knowing either. She just prepared the ham the way her mom did it.

Their next call is to great-grandmother. When they ask her about her method of preparing the Easter ham, she laughs. Then she says, "It was the only way I could get the Easter ham to fit the small pot I had!

                                                                                                                 ~ about.com

Embracing Change in Family Traditions

And then, sometimes we have to change. For whatever reason, sometimes the traditions don’t work any more. People change, grow, move, businesses close, finances change…and we need to embrace that too. My mother wrote a poem years ago about embracing the change in family traditions. Yet again, this is something I am facing. Christmas Eve was always a time that our family {parents, siblings, grandparents, sometimes cousins} were all together. We would have a great big feast, play, carol, then open up one present – always new pj’s. Sometimes we would head our different ways on Christmas but always, always we were together on Christmas Eve. I’ve never missed one. This year, my parents have moved too far for me to make it there for the evening since we will have other family staying in our home. But along with differences, this year will have many things that are the same too – like Christmas pj’s.


Traditions Pictured Above:

  • A Bethlehem scene with little doors to open for each day with a scripture and attribute of God (a gift from a friend a couple of years ago).
  • A Playmobile nativity scene (The children love to play with it each December. Sometimes the stories acted out are biblical and sometimes not. Baby Jesus was in a tornado the other day with a lamb and donkey!)
  • Chocolate Advent Calendars (one for each child and one for mama. Is it just me or are those little chocolates smaller every year?!?)
  • Jesse Tree
  • Christmas Kindness Cards

I’d love to hear why you think Family Traditions are important!