There are many traditions and rituals, whether they are in our families, our churches, our holidays, our schools, or in our relationships. Let’s talk about a few.
Family traditions could include cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, pizza every Friday night, helping in the mission as a family, making quilts for new babies, driving only a Ford or a Chevy, going camping every summer, etc. Church traditions could include Christmas Eve service, certain hymns sung, communion, offerings taken, etc. Schools traditions could include getting certain days off for holidays, holiday concerts, morning announcements on the loud speaker, a cheer or school song, etc. Relationship traditions would include anniversary celebrations, kissing before leaving the house, weekly date night, saying “I love you” first thing in the morning, etc.
Traditions/rituals can give those involved the sense of belonging, security and stability. When families break apart, many times these traditions and rituals are lost. Memories are left in the dust of the trauma and children especially are left wondering where they belong. In the ministries I led, Divorce Care For Kids and The Big D…Divorce Thru the Eyes of a Teen, kids would be nervous and sad about the approaching holiday season. Where they used to spend holidays with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, now many would be split between time with Dad and time with Mom or isolated altogether. The joy was gone for many of them.
Please ask your children what family traditions and rituals have meant the most to them over the years and try to incorporate some of them. If they always spent time with grandparents, try to make that happen or at least have your kids call them. If they always made cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning or decorated cookies, help them do that and maybe add a twist by inviting another family over to do it.
Create new traditions and rituals with your children and implement them every single year so they have something to count on and look forward to. You could bake Baby Jesus a birthday cake, make some holiday bread and take it to a few neighbors, read the Christmas story together on Christmas Eve, make a tent in the living room and watch a Christmas movie and drink hot chocolate. Turn Christmas music on and dance in the living room with them. Sing loud and strong! There is no end to making holiday memories and putting a smile on your kids’ face. Who knows? Maybe you will be able to smile with true joy again too.
This is not about living in the past and maybe the pain of that, but about bringing the warmth of past generations forward to bring stability to your family and creating a sense of belonging.
Robyn B Ministries wishes you a joyful Thanksgiving as you look at what the Lord has provided for you and your family. No matter what this past year has been like, take the time to look at what you can thank Him for and help your kids notice too.