Last fall, our older son turned 3 and really started getting excited about holidays, birthdays, and traditions. Our second son was also born, which solidified our existence as a family unit, and I realized that their relationship as brothers will (probably) be the longest relationship in either of their lives.
I was suddenly obsessed with crafting our family culture and setting up traditions. Traditions, as explained by “Psychology Today,” are more than just fun things to do as a family. They shape your family’s bonds, help impart values to your children, and provide a framework for family members to learn how to relate to joy, disappointment, grief, and other humans. While we still haven’t made the time to write a robust family mission statement, we have intentionally chosen more rituals, both large and small, annual and weekly, for our family.
Some of these are large and tied to holidays:
- Taking a pajama drive to look at Christmas lights in December
- Riding the T downtown to see the big holiday tree and stopping for hot chocolate on the way home
- Coloring the placecards for Thanksgiving dinner
- Planting our garden Mother’s Day weekend
- Helping to bake and frost birthday cakes
- Making snow ice cream on snowy days
Some are smaller weekly traditions:
- Taco Tuesday
- A special Wednesday breakfast
- Homemade pizza and family movie night on Saturday
- Sandwich Sunday with board games
- Lighting candles during dinner
Some traditions aren’t tied to any particular day or time of year, but they are part of our family’s repertoire of regular adventures:
- Hiking in the Fells
- Visiting Constitution Beach
- Waking up early and driving to New Hampshire or Maine for a day of exploring
- Camping in the summer
- Sharing a doughnut at the park
I’m always looking to add more traditions to our family. What traditions are part of your family culture?