Creating Family Traditions, It’s not as Hard as you Think

family traditionsAs a new mom, I remember feeling a little pressure if asked about my budding family’s traditions. We were young, growing, and didn’t have any yet. I wanted to create traditions but somehow got overwhelmed by visions of polished scenes from magazines.

Today, I’ve learned you don’t always have to set out to choose a tradition, it can choose you.  My husband started adding a splash of 7-Up to my granddaughter’s orange juice for a sparkling treat.  This has become an important favorite to her.  Every time she spends the night, she remembers and asks for grandpa’s sparkling orange juice with breakfast.  A tradition has been born!

Traditions are any habit that you do with consistency that creates warm memories, security, and stability in your family.  Over the years, traditions create remembrances
that we recall with fondness.  They don’t have to be expensive or fancy.  You’re probably already experiencing traditions and don’t realize it:  exploring the pumpkin farm,making turkey for Thanksgiving, touring the neighborhood Christmas lights, and sending cards to your Valentine.  Because of their regularity, seasons and holidays are natural opportunities to practice traditions.

Traditions are something you establish in the good times that can help get you through the bad times.  Camping has always been a constant for us; so when life got hard, we would still pack up and go.  We would make a big campfire and roast our favorite treats over the coals – including canned Pillsbury biscuits rolled on a long skewer.  Somehow, these moments together doing something we loved helped get us through.  Traditions can feel like a familiar hug when we need it most.

I’ve continued some of my favorite traditions from childhood:  carving pumpkins; watching a favorite family movie while Thanksgiving dinner is cooking; making Grandma’s Easter Salad and Easter Cake (1950s style – simple and sweet); and serving my family a Valentine’s dinner (complete with simple decorations, little gifts, and of course Valentine cards at everyone’s place setting)!

To make a tradition, simply take something that is meaningful to you and enjoy it regularly.  That can mean annually, or, every time you host a ‘sweet little granddaughter’ for breakfast.

Savoring life together,


olivia and stephanieStephanie Allen is Co-founder and President of Dream Dinners and a New York Times best-selling co-author of The Hour that Matters Most. Naturally a visionary and optimist, Stephanie hopes to inspire America through her nurturing voice of encouragement, assuring families…    

“You’re doing a great job!”