Family Gathering Ideas: Planning An Event

Familes should celebrate together often, start as soon as possible for a sense of solidarity and security for children and parents alike. Information on cuisine, activities, occasions, and other fun tips.

Rituals and traditions are the bread and butter of a well-nurtured and connected family. Without these fundamental building blocks, it is difficult to have a well-connected household filled with comfort and healthy communication. If you are the type of person who grew up with family traditions such as the smell of warm apple pie baking on Thanksgiving or dinner every Sunday at 1:00pm sharp you know the sense of solidarity this definition expresses.

With tradition comes security. You just cannot have one without the other. Often times when a tradition is stopped for one reason or another, feelings of loss or uneasiness soon follow. It is recommended that as soon as you find out you are pregnant, begin adopting specific traditions and rituals you will feel comfortable with as the days, months and years pass by. It is not too early to get started and never too late to begin. Such traditions can be something as simple as talking about your favorite event of the day over dinner. Or, on the other hand, it can be something more complex as reading your favorite scripture from the Bible and discussing its meaning to you every Sunday evening.

If you are married into a family who practices different rituals or traditions than your family does, then start your own with your new family. The key word is "family." Your "family" looks to you to guide them day to day, month to month, and year to year. It is not as important for you to juggle whose in-laws get to see who first on what holiday or birthday as it is to instill traditional values in your own homes.

If you do not want to abandon all your families have done throughout the years, consider combining your favorites into your new family's traditional scheme. An example would be the wife's family talks about what they are thankful for before the turkey is cut at Thanksgiving dinner, while the husband's family always discussed it over dessert. A compromise would be discussing it during the dinner or whenever else you can agree upon without turning the whole tradition into a power struggle.

Rituals and traditions do not have to be centered around holidays, birthdays or religious events either. A ritual can happen every night like, for example, the ritual of giving your baby their bath, reading them a book and rocking them to sleep. Or it could be the tradition of having pizza every Thursday night while watching a family video. Whatever it is should be important to you and your family and feel comfortable to everyone. If it is not an enjoyable experience, then why carry it on? It should not feel like a chore or a hassle, it should feel "wholesome." Do people even know what the meaning of that word is anymore, let alone the feeling it defines?

Approaching tradition is different for every individual and every household. If you find yourself thinking, "We always used to do it like this in my family, I really miss that," then discuss it with your spouse. Part of what keeps tradition and ritual alive is endurance, without that it is pretty much nullified. Communicating with your clergyman, councilor or mentor about what traditions and rituals are important to your religion or lifestyle is a good place to start. From there, look to your culture, background or origin for more information. There might be some practices you or your family never participated in that you may, now, wish to pursue.

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