Why bother with old traditions and rituals?
When I was growing up traditions and rituals played an important role in many of our family events. One such tradition would take place on our birthdays. Early in the morning while still sleeping my mother would quietly creep into the room and place a large square of butter directly on our nose. As we grew older, my siblings and I would try to protest this greasy ritual, but in reality we all looked forward to this tradition as we laughed and enjoyed the moment together!
Another fond memory I hold dear (and continued in my own family) is Sunday family dinners. Despite your plans, (which you knew better not to make) everyone was expected to be at that table ready to say 'grace'! Sunday dinners provided a place to be fed physically, emotionally and spiritually. It was at this table that stories were shared and questions were asked about family, life, death and daily events. Whether it was a greasy nose, nightly prayers or Sunday dinners these traditions were central in forming the values, beliefs and ideals I stand for today.
When I became a mother I created a new tradition for my children's birthdays; the 'you are loved plate'! At every family birthday or special event the table is set and the 'you are loved plate' is brought out. Today, I use the same plate for my grandchildren! It is not just the plate that makes one feel loved, but the words on the plate; 'We thank Our God Through Jesus Christ for You". Romans 1:8, YOU ARE LOVED.
Researchers have consistently reported that families who engage in traditions and rituals are more successful at creating strong family bonds that provide a sense of security and comfort. Traditions and rituals help parents pass on the faith to their children, while at the same time instilling values and ideals needed to cultivate a healthy self-esteem.
The benefits are too numerous not to consider how you might begin today in strengthening the future of your family. It can be as simple as a 'you are loved plate' or as funny as 'buttering the nose'. Whatever you choose make it your own. It is never too late to establish family traditions and rituals that will lift the spirits and strengthen the love between you and your family!