When you’re actively working to build a positive family culture, traditions can play a large role in establishing that culture.

Traditions are another way of showing what you’re about as a family.  They are value statements in action.  Whether it’s a statement about how you work, how you worship, how you have fun together, or how you serve others, traditions create a recurring theme in your family’s script, reaffirming what you value and establishing a positive family culture.

There are many traditions that can be woven into each day.  The way you greet each other, the activities you enjoy together, the way you start and end the day. 

Christmas is a time that is filled with traditions.  Traditions that communicate what we value and create opportunities to be together as a family.  Here are a few traditions I’ve seen or enjoyed myself this year, that have got me thinking about the importance of traditions in building a family culture.

  • I love this family photo garland from Clover Lane.   It communicates the importance of family and the memories they have shared together. It shows the value of each member of the family and acknowledges the way the family has changed and grown through the years.  And it’s just beautiful!  (Now I just need to track down photos for the past 8 Christmases!)
  • Having a service party, delivering gifts to neighbors, or making donations of time or goods this time of year communicates a value of compassion and service to others.  The younger children may not always grasp the significance of what we’re doing, but it sets a precedence for a culture of service.  That’s not something you can wait until they’re 14 to start teaching!
  • Setting up the nativity scene, lighting a candle, or singing sacred songs communicates the value of our faith to our children and affirms its place in our families culture.
  • Even activities like sledding, watching a favorite Christmas movie, or making gingerbread houses may not be symbolic in and of themselves, but the traditions represent the importance you place on being together and having fun as a family
  • Think of traditions for the end of the holiday season as well.  This is a great piece written by Kara Fleck for Rhythm of the Home about the traditions surrounding Plough Monday, or the first Monday after the holidays. 

What traditions — at Christmastime as well as the rest of the year —have you adopted that reaffirm what your family is about and strengthens your family bond?

Photo by Benjamin Earwicker.

Read more about establishing a positive family culture in my ebook, Parenting with Positive Guidance.



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