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Being a better parent sometimes means making mountains out of molehills. Creating Your Own Family Traditions speaks to how even the simplest things can become family traditions that our children will carry with them into their own role as parents.  

creating family traditions like sled riding

Create Your Own Family Traditions 

Family bonding and spending time together remind us of the importance of family traditions. As a child growing up – we had many family traditions that really cost little to no money, but that became intrinsically tied, at least for me, to joy, love, happiness, and family. 

Family Traditions Don’t Have To Cost Money.

creating family traditions

And even as we grew, all of these traditions stuck around.
It wasn’t until many years later that I realized it really is the small things that children remember.  

Not what you bought them.  Not what kind of elaborate party you threw for them.  But that you were with them. And that you showed them every day they were worth the extra effort.

I vividly remember many simple family traditions, like playing memory on the floor by my living room sofa in the evenings.   

Or sneaking into my parents’ bed early on Saturday morning, when they were just waking up. I knew that my mom would stay in bed for about ten minutes after she woke up to watch the Saturday morning news – and it was the perfect opportunity to hop in & hang out before starting the day.   

Oh- and one of my favorite memories was when the power would go out during a storm. My mom would light candles, and we would all sit at the kitchen table to play family games (like “Sorry” or “Clue” by candlelight. What could have been scary ended up being something that I looked forward to – something that we were excited about. It’s probably one of the reasons that I love rainstorms now. 

I remember holiday traditions, like decorating the Christmas tree while we listened to Christmas music. Everyone helped in the living room. Our family loves this, as well.   

These Are The Moments That Make Childhood

These are the things that your child will remember 20 years from now. The memories they will pull from when deciding what traditions they should make for their own children.

When relationships get strained, and your kids are trying desperately to create their own identity, these are the traditions that will tie them to you and help them remember that they can be their own person, but they are ALWAYS part of your heart.

Now is the time…sit down today and jot down a few things or gestures you and your family can make your tradition. 

They don’t have to be anything grand or fancy.  Honestly, kids just don’t care about that. It can be as simple as Saturday morning pile-ups in Mom’s bed. Or a family-style Olympics on a beautiful day that includes corn-hole, jump rope, and kickball.  

Anything goes with kids…I promise!  

Simple Family Tradition Examples:

– Friday Night Pizza and Movie Nights – Find a movie that the kids will like, order a pizza (or get a frozen one) & relax. 

Look at a full moon together, or saying the “Star Light, Star Bright” poem when you see the first star of the night.

Game nights – Weekly family game night is an easy tradition that is fun! The family members take turns picking the game (each person gets a night to pick the game).

– Decorating the house for EVERY holiday – Be it Christmas or Halloween or Easter, we have an arsenal of decorations for every occasion, so we pull them out & reminisce about when we bought them. So every year we can relive old memories as well.

Local Play or Ballet We go to a local play each year, on opening day, to see our friends & community members in a holiday play.

– Picnic and Play at the Park – I’ve packed PB&J’s or picked up Chick-Fil-A & we had the park. The food always takes a backseat to having dinner outside the kitchen and seeing their Dad and Mom race down the slide!

– Disco Dance Party – Nothing gets rid of sibling squabbles and homework stress quite like a $15 disco Bluetooth light and Pandora.

– Strawberry Picking – We live 1/4 mile from a local strawberry patch, and come April- you will find our family out picking fresh strawberries!

– Breakfast For Dinner – Can’t beat this one! 

– Summer Sundays – This is a favorite tradition of ours. We get our entire extended family together on Sunday to go boating, then to eat dinner at my parents’ house. The cousins play & the adults talk. It’s a win-win! 

– Birthday Dinner – On your birthday, you get to pick what I make for dinner or where we go out to eat!

– Baking – This is a long-held tradition. I love baking, and sharing this love with them is one of my most favorite things to do. Is there a mess to clean up after? Of course! But it’s worth every sweep of the broom.

Becky & allie making cookies

We put a high value on vacations in our family.– Vacation – This tradition obviously costs money, but experiences with family are worth it to us. I am very willing to go without other frivolities throughout the year to have a wonderful family vacation. One of our favorite places to go each year is Hilton Head Island.  

Once there, we don’t spend much. We bring our bikes from home, cook lunch & dinner at the rental house almost every day, and we spend our days biking on the endless amounts of bike paths! 

Every once in a while, we’ll use a rental bike… like this one! lol! The kids got a kick out of it… and so did we!

Check out this post for the things I never forget to pack for the beach!

These are just a few of the “not-so-special” things we do as a family that are really more special than anything I could plan or spend money on.  

I would love to hear what your family traditions are! I am always looking for new ones to add.

More Family Tradition Ideas:

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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1 Comment

  1. I love this! Thank you for emphasizing holidays and traditions. However you celebrate the big stuff and however you celebrate the little stuff is so important for kids to have… so that they remember childhood with good feelings… and hopefully come visit, right?! great insight, thank you!