Members Speak Out: Creating Family Traditions and Rituals

by Teresa J. Mitchell

Create Family TraditionsTraditions are the glue that bond families.

Most families can count on the rituals they follow every holiday season. It's what makes these times extra special.

You don't have to stick to the same old, tried and true rituals. Go a step farther.

Does your family have a favorite tradition that you've created? Maybe your family instituted a "Movie Night" or "Game night?" Do you celebrate birthdays in an unusual way -- or have a "tradition" to turn ordinary days into something extra special?

See what our members are creating for their families. Perhaps it will inspire you to create new traditions!'s Members Rituals and Traditions

We can always count on our members to share bits and pieces of their lives with us. Here are some of their favorite family traditions and rituals.

Saying Goodnight

"When saying goodnight to my children, I always say 'I love you -- all the way to Heaven and all the way back!' Honestly, it's part of a prayer for them and me! Over the years, it's grown into a special "ritual" that ends conversations at night when one of us is away from home, an exchange that they share with one another at bedtime, and something that we all treasure as representative of 'our' family." ~MJ

Royal Birthdays

"The family member celebrating a birthday truly receives the royal treatment at our house! They're designated "King or Queen for the Day." From the time they get up until they go to bed, his/her Royal Highness is "in charge" (within reason of course). They determine the menu - selecting their favorites for dinner. They also get to choose at least one activity to enjoy with the family. We decorate their door, have friends and family members call to serenade over the phone with the "Birthday song." Overall, the intention is to be certain they know what a special part of our family they each are and how very grateful we are to share it with them." ~Dani

First Day of School

"Each year on the first day of school, we take pictures as the kids head out the door. We've made an album for each child that shows how big and brave they are as they head out into the world away from home." ~Amy


"Last year we celebrated 'Turn Off TV Week.' We just focus on things that we do as a family. We went roller skating, had movie night, had game night and a science workshop ... we're looking forward to celebrating it again." ~Bonita

Cooking Together

"Each time we make bread (usually three times a week), I save out a little of the dough. The kids take turns deciding how to use it. One might ask for cheesy bread sticks, another for bread dough sculptures, apple coffee cake, buns, cinnamon pull-a-parts. This is a special mom-and-me time where we cook and create together, maybe laugh, maybe talk about serious event in that child's life." ~Julie

Family Game Night

"Game Night!" In an age where kids and parents are so busy being plugged in to computers, tv's, video games and cell phones, we all too often we miss out on taking time out to connect DIRECTLY. We instituted a 'technology free zone' -- parents included! Game night has become to be a way for all of us engage and interact together. Now the kids are constantly on the lookout for fun options!" ~Johnna

Happy Families

Dr. Laura Markham says, "Happy families not only have many treasured traditions, they constantly evolve new ones. These help them find their way through the inevitable changes of growing up, as well as create warm bonds and a sense of security."

Try something new. If you like it, do it again! Eventually that tradition will take on a life of its own and will become a part of your family's culture.

Does your family have its own special tradition or one you'd like to get started? Please tell us about it.

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