Have you ever tried creating a new tradition for your family? Whether it’s an annual camping trip or weekly game night, it’s challenging because you have high hopes and expectations and usually low reserves of energy, creativity and time. As the parent and CEO of your household, you also want to create memories that are centered around the values and experiences your family holds dear. So what do you do? Do you abandon the idea of a family time all together or create something from scratch?
When Carden and Janie of Giles Farms planted their first pumpkin patch in Christian County, Kentucky for their grandsons, it was driven by the motivation to create a fun, farm experience that the boys could look forward to every fall. This was five years ago. Today, there are more grandkids and we’ve welcomed friends of the farm who also cherish uninterrupted time outdoors to stomp in the leaves, and carve pumpkins, while deepening their family bond and relationship to the land.
If you’re looking for a new family tradition that best fits your family culture, it doesn’t mean you need to go out and plant pumpkin seeds. From our experience, we’ve found these methods helpful to ensure you end up with a successful family experience.
Make sure your tradition helps strengthen your family bond. Traditions, when done right, lend a certain magic and texture to our everyday lives. Researchers have found that families that engage in frequent traditions report stronger connection and unity than families that haven’t established rituals together. Whether it’s family dinner or a Saturday afternoon hike, this provides an opportunity to slow down and engage in much needed face-to-face interaction, helping you deepen your bond.
Ensure your tradition teaches or reinforces values. Every family culture is special in that your tribe is going to prioritize certain qualities and experiences differently than that of your neighbor. So be intentional and seek out these opportunities. For example, if your family values giving, generosity and compassion, the holiday season might be the perfect time to partner with a local soup kitchen or mission-minded organization and volunteer your time.
Any good tradition, should enhance the natural rhythm and seasonality of life. Our world is composed of cycles big and small- sunrise and sunset, winter, spring, summer and fall. By establishing regular rituals with our family, it provides us with the gift of anticipation and helps mark our time together by being able to look back on experiences fondly. For our family, this translates into seasonal trips to the beach or pool, pumpkin patch, tree farm and mountains.
We hope you’ll consider these tips as you think about how to incorporate traditions into the everyday busyness of your family’s lives.
We’d love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite traditions? Your tradition could help inspire another family to take action. Simply, leave a comment below.