Help your family develop fun and interesting traditions
Traditions take central stage during the Holiday and Christmas season. Your family probably has a plethora. Some you love. Most likely, you find some irritating. And, some you don’t understand one bit. In the midst of all the traditions the holiday season brings, you have to maintain your normal, mundane life – school, work, practice, homework, time with friends, etc.
Our traditions should be fun. But often, they become frustrating habits added to our “to do list” by our parents. Our busy schedules keep us from enjoying the tradition, making them more of a hassle than an exciting event. When we feel this way, we tend to blame our parents for making us do things we don’t have time to do, our teachers for making us do things we don’t want to do or ourselves for not being able to keep up with it all. No one is to blame. Rather than letting this time of year build frustration, step up and own your family traditions.
We follow our family traditions because it’s what we’ve always done. But, as a teenager, it’s time for you to start developing rich traditions for your own benefit. So, make your family’s traditions personal. If you don’t feel comfortable with certain traditions, ask your family to make adjustments so you can enjoy them fully. Create your own traditions that have meaning and purpose for you. Develop new ideas as a family.
While evaluating your family traditions, respect the emotions of other people, especially regarding past rituals that are important to your family, parents or heritage. Before you can analyze a family tradition, you must know the point or purpose of a tradition. During the Christmas season, traditions are rooted in many ideas: to bring people together, to be considerate of others, to recollect old folklore, to honor one’s heritage and upbringing, to celebrate the Birth of our Savior, to remember and recall Christ and who He made us to be by reflecting on our history.
Now is the time for you to learn about the significance of traditions, whether you like them or not. If you don’t like a certain tradition, don’t be afraid to share your feelings with your family. Tell them why you don’t like it and then, provide an alternate. If you don’t understand the tradition or see why it’s important, then ask your parents and listen to the reason. If there isn’t a good reason, then perhaps it’s time to try something new or eliminate it all together. If you’re intrigued by the reason, then hold on to the newly gained insight and let it bring enthusiasm back to the ritual.
If a family activity has become a habit over the years and doesn’t claim a traditional root, then ask family members if it’s still important. If your family likes the tradition, then add another element to the ritual to make it hold more significance. If you’ve never understood a tradition, perhaps you need to discuss whether it’s worth keeping the ritual. Keep in mind, if you bring up traditions you don’t care for, other family members might mention traditions that they’d like to eliminate that you really enjoy. Be ready to defend your favorite traditions and hear other people’s reasonings for changing something you love.
By beginning the conversation, your traditions will become more important and significant. You’ll create an opportunity for your family to grow closer together, so they all benefit. So, don’t be afraid to take charge of traditions this year.