Creating Family Memories and Traditions

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Creating Family Memories and Traditions

It’s that time of year again. Before we know it, Christmas will be making its annual visit to our homes. The mention of holidays such as thanksgiving and Christmas can conjure up all sorts of images and emotions. For some, these holidays remind us of wonderful family times, delicious tastes, delightful smells and generally happy occasions. For others, the memories may be of tension filled visits, obligatory gift exchanges and unmet expectations. And still for others like myself, panic comes to mind, as I think of the sometimes overwhelming holiday rigors of shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking and entertaining. I have learned quite of few lessons through my years of choreographing our family’s celebrations, and I am excited to share just of smidgen of them with you in this blog series. One of the many privileges that we have as parents is to create traditions and memories for our family and friends. This is an extremely strategic responsibility. Traditions provide anchors for our loved ones in the uncertain waters of life. They take an ordinary scent or ritual and turn it into an extraordinary, comforting memory. These memories bring a smile to the faces and a warm feeling of love to the hearts of those that we hold dear. Memories and traditions make enormous deposits into the lives of our family; deposits that gain interest over the years and pay incredible dividends.


  • They give a sense of identity – “this is where I came from. My family is Swedish and we always… this tradition dates back to the 1800s in our family.”
  • They give a sense of belonging – “I am a part of this family and we open our gifts on …. I am special for many reasons and one of them is because I belong to this family and its celebrations.”
  • They give a sense of security – “even though my life has been topsy turvey all year long, I know that some things remain unchanged”. Even unfamiliar experiences that are a bit intimidating and overwhelming, such as graduation or a wedding, appear manageable because of the assurance that mom and dad have in the past made special occasions memorable and special.
  • They give a sense of anticipation – and that’s half the fun. We can look forward to the familiar rituals and also anticipate with excitement a new experience.

In the next few blog entries, I will share with you some ways that we have made memories and enjoyed traditions in our family. Do you have an example that you can share?

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