Every year at Christmas time my family has the same routine. It’s pork roast for Christmas Eve dinner, followed by my Aunty’s Danish rice pudding. (Whoever gets the whole almond amongst the slivered ones gets a prize, usually a box of chocolates).
After leftover pudding for brekky on Christmas day, we open presents. Christmas lunch is a smorgasbord of delicious salads and cold roast meat, don’t forget the cheese! We sit around, we eat and we play card games for two days.
The older I get, as cousins start to move away and get married, I realise how much we all value our family Christmas and the traditions that come with it. We cherish each moment together and every year look forward to doing the same things on those two days. Traditions add value to the time you spend with family; they give you a purpose and something for everyone to look forward to.
This year is my first year living out of home at Christmas time. It has been hard for me to accept that, as time goes on, our traditions will change; some people will leave and others will join. This year we will be welcoming my beautiful cousin-in-law Naomi to our family Christmas. Each year I am reminded of the value of family and spending time together. Family traditions are one of the three pillars of family culture.
It has been proven that family traditions strengthen the bond between family members. Research shows that those who frequently participate in family traditions have a stronger connection and unity than those who don’t. In our technology-focused world, traditions provide valuable face-to-face time, especially between those from different generations who may not communicate using the same mediums.
Traditions are an important element of building and connecting families. Not only do they create great memories, they also provide a source of identity, strengthen the family bond, offer comfort and security, teach values, pass on cultural heritage and connect generations. Traditions don’t have to be complex or big; it can be the simplest of things that create a great tradition.
When it comes to traditions, quality beats quantity every time.
Don’t have any family traditions of your own? Why not start some?! It’s easy, just pick something simple and enjoyable to do together, whether it’s sharing a story over a meal or playing a game together. You won’t regret it, family traditions will stay with you forever. As they evolve and transform, they will create memories along the way.