Traditions are the memories that children treasure the most, as a mother of five I see this constantly. The traditions we have created are not elaborate or over involved, and they don’t have to be! Life is complicated, we don’t have to over think things especially when it comes to children, sometimes the simplest things can have the greatest impact!
Traditions allow children to feel part of a group or family and create happy memories that are lasting. My children are now ranging from the ages of 13 to 34 years of age and from the youngest to the oldest, they want to see our traditions continued and repeated, they say it just wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t continue some of them.
What types of traditions have we created?
One of our favorite holiday traditions is ornament painting, now I know that might sound like it would be difficult if you are not an artist, and I am definitely not, but it was actually quite easy!
- Buy premade plaster ornaments from one of the local arts and craft stores and acrylic paints
- Invite over family and friends to join us for ornament painting parties starting in late November through December
- Invite school friends, church friends, lifelong friends, or relatives – everyone looks forward to painting each year
- Cover the table with a plastic cloth, put out some snacks, put on some holiday music and paint away
I loved this tradition because even the youngest child could participate. We would date ornaments with the year and the child’s name and now we have ornaments for each child spanning many years. When we invited friends over, we would ask them to paint ornaments for themselves and one for our tree also with name and date. Now we have ornaments that we can look at each year and recall the visits from the friends who painted with us.
It’s OK to outgrow traditions
Over time you may find you have outgrown a tradition and need to modify. One of newest traditions we have grown out of is out yearly Easter egg hunt. As my children have gotten older, the tradition of our backyard plastic egg hunt just wasn’t appropriate any longer – So, we started the annual Easter egg toss, raw eggs that is. Now that is a fun new tradition that the whole family looks forward to.
Traditions can be very simple and inexpensive
When my first two children were young, I was watching the budget closely, so I looked for activities and traditions that were easy on the wallet. We used to have a summer tradition of going to the Catoctin Mountain Tire Park. We would wear our old tennis shoes and wade and play in the creek. It’s simple, but fond memories were created. As the children got older, we would walk down the creek and follow across the stone fire kiln.
Another inexpensive summer tradition for us was our annual trip to Lilly Ponds in Hyattstown. We would look at all the lilies and feed the fish in pond and explore. Simple things like this are great examples how your children hold onto such things that may seem small to you but huge to them!
I hope you consider creating some family traditions with your kids. Need some inspiration? I’ve asked a few of our families at our schools what their favorite traditions are:
- Birthday words – On each birthday we go around the table one by one and say something that we appreciate about the family member having the birthday.
- Movie Fridays – Every Friday night we make popcorn and put a movie on and watch it as a family.
- We go to the boat show and car show every year
- Make cookies every Christmas Eve
- We visit Grandma every Sunday
- Game night
- Waffles every Sunday
- We hide our Easter baskets and the children hunt for them in the morning
- Taco Fridays
- We get our pumpkins and take them home, then we let the kids wash the pumpkins and we have hot cocoa
- Matching Christmas pajamas for the whole family
- We do volunteer work as a family every December
- Holiday experiences specific to our community in Maryland
Enjoy and go make family traditions.