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The importance of simple family traditions

In childhood days there was nothing like the smell of mom preparing breakfast on Sunday morning.

The “fritters,” as she called them, weren’t just a sugary donut like snack, they were a weekly tradition in our house. Always making more than enough, Mom knew instinctively that we would eat them as soon as we got home from church.

Now that I am a mother of two, I often find myself remembering the simple customs that my family used to share and have continued to pass down similar traditions to my own family. Whether it’s baking cookies every Christmas Eve or gathering around the dining room table for a weekly game of Yahtzee, sharing humble traditions with loved ones is a sure way for families to better connect with one another.

Unfortunately, in today’s busy lifestyle, family camaraderie is an element that seems to be missing from many homes. While both moms and dads often need to work to provide, it’s easy to inadvertently forget how impactful connecting or not connecting with our loved ones can be.

Our home lives as children seem to affect us greatly as we become adults. Making positive connections with others is one of the hardest things to do, unless you learn it as a child. Through family game nights and sharing our day over macaroni and cheese, we can learn a lot about our housemates, thus discovering independent personalities and learning to appreciate each one for who he or she is.

It’s great to know that in these tough economic times that family traditions don’t have to cost a lot. Snuggling up on the couch with a bag of popcorn and a rented movie can be just as satisfying as a night at the movies. Involving everyone is key. With so many devices, such as portable video games, iPods, etc. it’s easy for each member of the family to be in their own world without worrying or worrying about being part of “the family”.

In our house it is a tradition at dinner time that while mom and dad cook, our son and daughter are present. This not only removes the feeling of running a restaurant, but also gives each of us a little more time to talk about what’s on our minds. As the kids help set the table and get everyone to drink, they think about mentioning what Bobby said at school or what they had for lunch that day.

A general appreciation that we are connected not only as a family, but as a team, is easily gained by simply requesting their company, rather than having both children hibernate in their rooms until food is on the table and ready to eat.

Take a look at your family. How often would you say you spend quality time together? If it’s less than once a week, you may find that it’s not really connecting or even being recognized at all.

Find easy ways to get together, work as a team, enjoy your home together, and most of all, enjoy each other’s company at least once in a while. Create your own humble traditions and discover that the benefits of doing so will last a lifetime.

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