Without even realizing it, my husband and I began forming our own traditions as a couple back when we were dating. Some of them have continued on into our family 13 years later.
One of the things we did when were dating was to go apple picking. I don't think we've missed a year since, but now we've expanded that tradition into making big batches of homemade applesauce with the kids.
A month or so ago, I signed up to write a post as part of a blog series in the Domestically Challenged; Divinely Equipped Facebook Group. I chose to write about traditions because I have grown to LOVE them and they are so important to me now that I'm a mom. When I chose to write about traditions I had no idea of what lay ahead for our family.
But over the past couple of weeks, the Lord has allowed our family to enter a season of trial and one of the things that I have found to be the most helpful during this difficult time is holding on to our daily traditions.
Traditions, more often than not, are what you do together on a regular basis and they may not be as obvious as the bigger events that you plan more infrequently. I think both have their value and should have their part in our lives.
For example, one of the traditions that is helping hold us together right now in the midst of pain is the devotional and praise time I have with our kids each morning. This simple daily tradition has given more strength and hope to my weary soul than I ever would have thought and I thank the Lord He had already put it in my heart to do this daily with our children. At the time I never would have thought something like this was a tradition but in the midst of pain and heartache I see much more clearly now that it is a tradition and, most importantly, one that points us daily to our great God.
Of course, many of the traditions in our family are centered around seasons and holidays. A great resource to help you get started in thinking through traditions for your family is Treasuring God in our Traditions. A very thoughtful friend gave me this book the first Christmas that I was married.
To give you some ideas, here are some of our family's traditions:
Our Annual Gingerbread Hunt (I used to do this in December as part of our Countdown Chain but this past year I decided to do it January. It gave us something to look forward to after the holidays settled down.)
We always do something special for Valentine's Day whether it be a party with friends or a countdown.
My family is Irish so growing up we always had corn beef and cabbage in my home. It's a tradition that my mom has continued so our whole family gets together for some yummy food. :)
We like this Holiday Countdown and use it for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's designed for all three holidays.
For several years now, we've gone blueberry picking each August. We go to the same place every year and I always read Blueberries for Sal to the kids.
Our annual trip to the apple orchard followed up with big batches of homemade applesauce.
We always do some kind of Thanksgiving themed stuff during this month and try to focus more specifically on things we're thankful for. This year I printed out a banner and some papers for us to list things we're thankful for. I found them here and they are so cute!
Probably our absolute favorite tradition of all is our Christmas Countdown starting December 1. I first got the idea from one of our mom mentors at a Mom's Night Out years ago and have done it ever since. Incredibly traditional and loads of fun!
As I said, traditions can be every day little things that weave our days together. Singing hymns of praise in the mornings and reading before bed are both simple traditions that draw the family closer together but also instill character and spiritual training at the same time. Whatever is meaningful for your family is what will make it special to you. God designed each family to have their own unique gifts and talents that can be woven into family traditions and whether they're big or small they are part of what makes your family just your own. Enjoy drawing your family close together with traditions!
Homemaker's Holiday Challenge
This is just one post in the Homemaker's Holiday Challenge series, brought to you by the bloggers behind the Domestically Challenged; Divinely Equipped Facebook group. Join us there for daily encouragement through this 5-day challenge and become a part of an awesome community of Christian
homemakers! Check out the rest of the posts in the Homemaker's Holiday Challenge below.
No Clutter November: Less Stuff, More Peace from Stacey at Abiding Woman
A Simple Plan for the Holidays from Tauna at Proverbial Homemaker
Using Traditions to Draw our Families Close Together from Becky at Purposeful Homemaking
Create a Season of Rest (+ABCs of Thanksgiving Poster) from Clarissa at Counting our Blessings
Teachable Moments-character training tools
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