3 Reasons Family Traditions Are Important

Family traditions are important for several reasons including they create opportunities for connection, for developing a family identity, and opportunities for hospitality.

Last year we completely renovated Scott’s grandparents’ home. We moved in just before Casiday graduated and in time for all the summer holidays. By the time Fourth of July rolled around, we had already hosted more events in our new home than we had in the house we’d lived in the previous seven years.

Building relationships is important to us. Opening our home to others is one way we do that. Whether it’s a barn party for the students at our church or a New Year’s Eve party with all our friends, we want our home to be a place people gather.

One of our first big full family events at Underwood Estates was Fourth of July. Scott’s whole family joined us — the whole crew ate hamburgers and hot dogs, watched kids play with bubbles and sidewalk chalk, and enjoyed just being together.

Naturally, being Fourth of July, we ended our evening with a fireworks show. Here is where I tell you, Scott loves — LOVES — fireworks. So, it wasn’t just a few sparklers and some fountains. It was big, bright, loud fireworks in the sky. His cousin’s girls LOVED it all. Especially when we all had a “near death experience” as one of the fireworks shot sideways instead of straight up.

This year, everyone came back and we realized a new tradition has been formed. The little ones were so excited about the possibility of another “near death experience” and Scott’s cousin said his girls had been talking about Fourth of July all year, anxious for another evening of fun and fireworks.

We had the best time and it made me think, again, about why family traditions are so important. {Here’s a little video recap Scott made of our Fourth Festivities for the family.}

3 Reasons Family Traditions Are Important

Family traditions are important for several reasons including they create opportunities for connection, for developing a family identity, and opportunities for hospitality.

First, family traditions create a touchpoint for connection.

Our Fourth of July party is now a time we know we’ll get to see everyone. Yeah, we usually get together at Christmas but it’s much more stressful then. So Fourth of July provides an opportunity to engage and connect without all the chaos of the holiday season.

Connecting with our extended family is important to us. We want to be involved in their lives and to have deeper relationships with them. Creating family traditions is a great way to enable that to happen and to create a legacy for our own children to continue to stay connected to others.

Second, family traditions help create a unique identity for your family.

One of my favorite traditions in our family is Thanksgiving Stockings. We started this fun little tradition early in our marriage. Every year, after all the Thanksgiving dinner is eaten, the dishes are washed, and the leftovers safety stored away, we give out Thanksgiving Stockings. In the stockings are ornaments, Christmas pajamas, books, movies, etc. All those fun little Christmas goodies that, if given on Christmas Day, end up not getting enjoyed as much.

Whoever is with us on Thanksgiving receives a stocking and we’ve even done Family Thanksgiving Stockings. Family and friends have been a part of this fun tradition. And since they’ve done it with us, many of them are now using the same idea with their own families.

Family traditions are important for several reasons including they create opportunities for connection, for developing a family identity, and opportunities for hospitality.

Which leads me to the third reason family traditions are valuable — they create opportunities for us to invite others in.

Over the years we’ve had the privilege of serving several churches in the area of student and college ministry. We’ve always included “our kids” in as much of our family life as possible. We’ve taken students with us on family vacations, invited them to join us for holidays, and even created special traditions just for them.

Especially with college students who are working, getting home to be with family on all the holidays can be a challenge. Since we give Christmas pajamas at Thanksgiving, we had to come up with a new idea for the Christmas gift to open on Christmas Eve. A few years ago we landed on one that has stuck — a new game for the family.

Last year, two of our college students joined us as we ate dinner after the Christmas Eve service at our church and then opened our game. We all played together and laughed. While it was fun for us, both of the students commented that it made the day not feel so lonely for them.

Family traditions are important for your family — but they can also be a great tool for reaching out to others who are far from family or don’t have a close relationship with their family. Inviting others into our traditions is a beautiful way of extending hospitality and of building relationships.

Inviting others into our traditions is a beautiful way of extending hospitality and of building relationships. Click To Tweet

I hope you have some fun family traditions. And I really hope you will consider including people beyond your family in them if you aren’t already.

Leave a comment and share your favorite family tradition.

xoxo, TL

Family traditions are important for several reasons including they create opportunities for connection, for developing a family identity, and opportunities for hospitality.

2 Replies to “3 Reasons Family Traditions Are Important”

  1. How wonderful!
    We too have an annul fouRth of july family and friends cookout.
    I love the Thanksgiving stocking idea!
    December 1 we bring out little elf out and she always brings a gift of Christmas pjs and a few Christmas things to begin the Season.

    1. Love using the elf to bring gifts. That’s so sweet!

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