August 15, 2023
I remember the first time I tried crab cocktail. I was about five years old. The red, thick saucy substance went in my mouth, and then right back out – much to my Grandma’s horror.
Crab cocktail was not easy to make, nor inexpensive. The adults seemed to like it, but my five year old self could not figure out why.
Every single year my Grandma continued to make crab cocktail, and I was forced to give it an obligatory taste. Then one year, without warning, I didn’t gag and thought it tasted OK. And another year I actually liked it!
Grandma’s crab cocktail served in her stunning ruby red goblets became a family tradition – one that I eventually grew to appreciate and embrace.
Traditions aren’t just for holidays, they are also for the everyday.
For the dinner table.
For fall, winter, spring and summer.
For the first day of school.
For the first fish caught.
For the big birthday.
For the Saturday morning.
HERE ARE 5 ORDINARY TRADITIONS TO START TODAY WITH YOUR FAMILY
1. MAKE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL HOMEMADE COOKIES
There is something special about walking into a kitchen that carries the aroma of fresh baked cookies. It’s unmistakable and signals warmth and a feeling of home.
For the most impact, make the same cookie every first day of school. We make the classic chocolate chip cookie. I make the dough ahead of time, roll it into balls, then freeze them. They are so easy to pull out on the first day of school and ready in eight minutes!
WANT MORE IDEAS?
In this 5 day sequence you will receive:
- Simple, free ways to build traditions into your everyday life
- 10 ways to help your family feel special on their birthdays
- Words and phrases that help shape your family’s culture
- 15 mini tradition ideas that bring fun and happy to daily life
- Holiday traditions that carry the magic, not the stress
- Ideas on how to set your family apart using unique traditions
Build relationships, reclaim home and have more fun through intentional celebrations and traditions.
2. PLAY MUSIC IN THE MORNING
Research from John Hopkins University shows that music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain, as well as increase sleep quality, mood, mental alertness and memory.
It’s good for the brain and body, but it also becomes a tradition when you play the same station or artist each morning. I like to start the day with Pandora’s Antonio Vivaldi Radio. It makes me feel like we are in a bed and breakfast, and exposes my kids to classical music.
3. PICK OUT OF A QUESTION JAR AT DINNER
The art of conversation is an incredible skill to teach children. It’s also becoming a lost art. Even my older kids remark that when they meet people, they are amazed that those individuals never ask them one single question in an hour long conversation.
Whether you ask questions out of jar, take turns asking a person to the right of you a question, or answer three of the same questions every night, these offer an opportunity for everyone to stay current on one another. It also reinforces the natural back and forth of great communication.
Dinnertime is a natural time of day to do this as a family. It’s a tradition that will pay big dividends as children learn how to communicate with others.
4. PLAY A GAME AFTER DINNER
We often finish dinner and go straight into TV watching, more work on the computer or other separate pursuits. Instead, take twenty minutes to play a game together and connect. Whether the kids are at home, or it’s just you and your spouse / friend, this is a healthy rhythm for your relationships and for your brain.
Here are some ideas:
- HORSE (basketball)
- capture the flag
- ladder golf
- frisbee golf
- “speed” card game
- “spoons” card game
5. ONCE A WEEK HAVE A SPECIAL MEAL
This can be breakfast out at the local favorite, making a certain recipe, setting a candlelit dinner, lunch at the Mexican hot spot or a big steak from the butcher down the street.
Food speaks to people and is a natural way to create tradition. It doesn’t have to be the same day each week, but it can be.
When our kids were young, we would have one night designated as “family night.” I would make a fancy meal and a really good dessert, and we’d dine by candlelight. Though the night would change from week to week due to our schedule, this tradition served as an anchoring practice for our family.
DON’T OVERCOMPLICATE IT
As you can see from these ideas, traditions can be simple. They are simply actions we repeat that make an impact on our family. Like Grandma making crab cocktail (but maybe don’t do that one).
One day your kids will start saying “Remember when…” And you will find these traditions finishing that sentence.
What is one everyday tradition you love?
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