Even before we are born, we are part of a set of rituals and beliefs passed on from one generation to another.The mothers have a baby shower and the father proudly passes out cigars in blue or pink colors. In Armenia, a baby is placed on the floor surrounded by symbolic items to determine his future. In China, the baby's parents give out red eggs as a symbol of happiness and life renewal. Our life is surrounded by a bunch of behaviors established by each society that develop into traditions. In short, Traditions are passed from generation to generation generally serving the purpose of conserving something important to a group of people.
But why are traditions important to us?
A family is defined as a group of two or more people that share the same purpose and “share the same traditions”. I often see families that live together, yet they everyone is “doing their own thing”. Dad is hooked on the TV; mom is on Facebook, sister on her cell phone and brother on the Xbox. So, what’s the point of actually having a family or being in a relationship if we do not actually act as one? Although a tradition is something incredibly simple, it requires serious commitment to achieve.
Here are 4 points to establish a successful tradition
1. Pick Something Meaningful
We have to consider what is really important for our loved ones or us. Traditions are not just gifts and turkey. We can develop things that help us stay together and celebrate accomplishments. A trip to Baskin-Robbins after our kid’s doctor’s appointment, a monthly lunch with a friend or a trip to a fun place to celebrate a good report card are examples of how a tradition can be used. A tradition can also be a personal one, such as a trip to the spa every first paycheck of the month or a trip to the movie theater every other Sunday. What ever you choose, it has to be important to you.
2. Money Matters
One of the main problems people have when establishing a tradition is that they want to establish some sort of a grant extravagant event. “You are gonna get a trip to Disneyland every time you get a good report card!” We often promise things that are not financially possible to commit to. In other words, we have to choose something that we will actually be able to do at all times and know our budget beforehand. For example, having a movie night once a week doesn’t mean going to the movie theater and spending five hundred dollars on popcorn and drinks every time. It can also mean going to Red Box and having your favorite snack at home when the movie theater is not possible.
3. Pick Something Fun
If it’s not meaningful to you, it’s not going to stick. We all like different things; therefore, we all have different opinions about what’s fun. We just cannot say “okay kids, everyone is gonna gather around the table and count rice for 30 minutes”. If you have teenagers in the house, then you should have teenager related stuff. The same will be for every age group. Does this mean I have to actually play Just Dance with them?? Of course!! Keep in mind that playing something with your kids today is not precisely the point. They will get used to spending time together and will evolve with time. Next thing you know, the tradition is gathering at the table having coffee and talking for hours.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
A tradition will last as long as it evolves. Choosing to have a special homemade meal with your partner on Thursday nights with a nice glass of wine doesn’t mean that it’s going to taste good the first time! If something goes not go as planned the first time, just keep trying. Some times things just happen by accident; therefore, if you had fun... just go with it and try it again. A tradition will need at least three months to be consistent and at least one year to be permanent. After all, the dearest memories we own are traditions