Traditions Bring Families Together
Why is sitting around the table, enjoying a meal together so vital to community? I mean Jesus and meals always went hand in-hand. There must be something to it!
Growing up, my dad loved camping, so I remember those special camping trips. Camping was something we loved to do. I remember one of the things I’d always do on our trips was hiking, climbing, and exploring. There was always an adventure to be had, not to mention the thrill of being better at something that your siblings weren’t as good at. I loved being the older sister! Show off!
Family meals were also always a time to come together and connect; it was a way for us to bond as a family. Some of my best memories have been around the table, catching up on the day’s events, talking about our week’s activities and who needed what or coordinating schedules, doing homework together, having theological conversations, playing board games, baking and decorating Christmas cookies, or celebrating birthdays, good grades, and soccer wins.
It’s essential to consider that as the children grow and seasons change, some traditions will also change. Growing up, the kids knew every Friday night was pizza and game night, and Saturday mornings meant pancake breakfasts. Pancakes with our kids initials or chocolate chips or little baby pancakes, because the kids were little. Of course, they loved and looked forward to these family gatherings.
Statistically speaking, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) recently reported that, "Eating dinner as a family helped kids in many ways. It helped them get better grades, and kept them away from cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana, and more. “ WebMD
“Researchers also found that the frequency of family dinners increases characteristics, such as having a positive view of one’s future, being motivated and engaged in school, being committed to learning, and having positive values and positive identity” (Fulkerson et al., 2006).
“Studies have shown that teenagers who regularly eat dinner with their families are less likely to engage in illicit behavior involving drugs and alcohol and more likely to get better grades and be mentally and physically healthy.” Psychology Today
What do family traditions mean to you? What memories come to mind when you think of family meals?
When my husband and I got married, the first thing I wanted to do was start our own family traditions. It was important to me to start building those special moments and memories, as family time is a way for us to connect on a daily basis and celebrate the importance of living life together.
Family traditions can be everyday moments. For us, it was our regular visits to Spanish Landing, San Diego when our kids were growing up. We have a lot of wonderful memories there where we would take our first dog, Nakita, on walks. That is also where our kids learned to ride their bikes. I remember my husband and I would coax them by offering them treats if they could make it to the bell tower at the park, until finally our son, Jonathan, made it and we cheered and cheered at his victory! The sense of accomplishment gave him the confidence he needed that he could do anything, if he set his mind to it.
We also wove our wedding anniversary into a family tradition by going to Big Bear, California every year. It was there our daughter learned to ski and our son learned to snowboard, but more importantly it drew us closer as a family.
The laughter and memories we have built over the years have been a blessing and have not only strengthened us as a family, but more importantly at the center of our lives has always been God, our Heavenly Father!
What family traditions did you grow up with?
What was your favorite family tradition as a child?
What family traditions will you start today?
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17