The holiday season is filled with traditions – the handing down of beliefs, customs, and activities from generation to generation. Whether it’s stories told, favorite activities that the family shares, or recipes handed down and enjoyed, most everyone celebrates this time of year with something that has been passed down to them and that holds great meaning. It’s the stuff that childhood memories are made of!
While most of us think of fun when we think of traditions, the fact is they serve many purposes throughout our life, often strengthening and sustaining us during difficult times. Whether they are laden with meaning, such as the tradition of many religious rituals, or something as seemingly unimportant as annual cookie baking, these traditions provide an opportunity to slow down and connect, and for many remind us of the things that matter most during the holiday season and every day.
In addition to giving us time to connect, traditions can literally help us with how to connect. Traditions can dictate times when it is appropriate or expected to say things that might otherwise go unsaid, such as expressions of gratitude at Thanksgiving. How many families wait until Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to give voice to their appreciation for all their parents do and have done for them?
Those same traditions offer adults and especially children order and stability, particularly during challenging times. As we move through the year, from month to month, traditions associated with the various seasons and times of life help us deal with the passage of time. Moving from the kid’s table to the adult table at Christmas, staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve, and graduating from high school are traditions that also are rites of passage that help us celebrate the various stages of life, and sometimes make them less frightening.
Some traditions, such as funerals, help us cope with traumatic events. The “automatic” nature of how your family copes with loss creates a situation where traditions provide comfort and guidance on the journey to recovery from loss.
Traditions tell us that you’re never too young to learn and never too old to pass along practical skills valued by your family in the form of shared recipes, hospitality, and charity. In passing down these traditions from generation to generation families also pass down their world experience, culture, and values. Those unique family traditions shape each family member as they create their own identities – what they understand and how they express themselves.
As you move through this holiday season, be aware of the traditions in your life and the meaning and value they hold for you. As you move into the New Year, remember that it’s never too late to create a new tradition – any day of the year. Use your 100 Year Lifestyle as the impetus for new traditions. If you want, moving June 20th can become the day your family always celebrates the beginning of summer with a family bike ride! Thursday nights can become family backyard game nights! The first Tuesday of every month dinner can become “try a fruit or vegetable you’ve never eaten before night!” There are endless possibilities for healthy new traditions. Get crazy!
At 100 Year Lifestyle we know that any traditions you create with your family around your healthy beliefs and lifestyle will benefit them their entire lives. Inspire them not only with your words, but with your healthy actions. As you pass on your healthy traditions, you imbue the future generations with your love and zest for life.
Tradition does not mean to look after the ash, but to keep the flame alive.
Remember, 100 Year Lifestyle articles are here to assist you 24/7 – every day of the year! Our staff and team of providers are wishing you the healthiest and happiest of holidays!