The Importance of Traditions

This is my daughter’s birthday cake. It’s a 4 layer pumpkin cake with cream cheese-molasses icing. Each of my kids has their own birthday cake flavour and that’s what I make every year for them. My summer baby has strawberry shortcake and my winter baby has triple chocolate. It’s a great tradition for them and they look forward to having their special cake once a year. I love traditions and I try to practice a lot of them. My kids recite the same passage every Christmas Eve, I make dutch apple fritters every New Year’s Eve, we pick strawberries at the same patch each year and always bring a quart to Grandma, and our latest is a made up holiday called “Kindness Day” that we’ve been celebrating each year by spending a day writing nice notes and leaving gifts for each other.

Traditions are vital for kids. They give them a sense of normalcy, stability, and regulation. Traditions give all of us something to look forward to, to count on, and to trust. Traditions bond us to our families and those we practice them with. Traditions build positive shared memories that we can reminisce about throughout our lives.

Traditions take on special importance if your family has gone through big changes. Make it a priority to try to keep your traditions alive where possible. Where that’s not possible you can start new traditions. Traditions don’t ever have to be elaborate or expensive. They can be sweet, simple, and sometimes really silly. I know one family that makes every Monday night “ice cream night” and another that has a day long board game tournament every New Year’s Day. All it takes to create a tradition is to keep doing something you love with the people you love.

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