Amazing memories last a lifetime, especially true for children and families, and Christmas is perhaps the best time of year to make these memories. Some families celebrate holidays for less complex reasons. For example, Christmas or Thanksgiving may be more about spending quality time with loved ones. Some Christmas traditions that get the whole family involved include picking out a tree, making gingerbread houses, caroling, or simply cooking and baking.
All of these traditions help build closer connections among family members. Parents and children alike can even create traditions of their own instead of participating in some of the more popular festivities. The following are some of the many benefits that come with having a family tradition practiced within your household.
Traditions Provide a Source of Identity
“Family traditions are more than arguments with the dead, more than collections of family letters you try to decipher. A tradition is also a channel of memory through which fierce and unrequited longings surge, longings that define and shape a whole life.” – Michael Ignatieff
Much of a person’s identity is centered around society, his or her experiences, and cultural influences. Traditions give a person a source of identity and feeling of belonging. Every tradition can be celebrated differently or have its own unique meaning to a family. This uniqueness is what shapes an individual to be who they are.
Traditions Teach and Reinforce Family Values
Children don’t often question the meaning of holidays and ceremonial practices. It isn’t until people get older that they come into the understandings of what some holidays actually represent. Millions celebrate Thanksgiving to express gratitude and spend time with the loved ones they’re fortunate to have in their lives. However, it isn’t necessarily celebrated to commemorate a specific historical event that took place hundreds of years ago. Thus, the meaning takes on a more positive connotation and a new meaning.
Traditions Can Alleviate Winter Blues
“Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.” – Susan Lieberman
Some people experience the winter blues or seasonal depression around the fall and winter months. Traditions like spending Christmas with the family helps to alleviate those negative moods, sadness, or loneliness. Surrounding oneself with those that they love is a great way to be reminded of life’s positives.
Traditions Strengthen Family Relationships
Family bonds are strengthened through family traditions. As a family shares the same value system, a sense of camaraderie and mutual togetherness is developed. It feels good to know one isn’t alone and can refer to their family for support, love, and care.