A few years ago I felt like our home had gotten too dull and boring. Being “Fun Mom” doesn’t always come naturally. I’m not terribly creative or adventurous. I felt like we were missing something in our family.
And then I realized what it was.
Traditions make families who they are. They are the day-to-day, year-by-year anchors that tell children (and parents): “This is who we are. This is what we believe, in what we love, what makes us us.” They can be fun and random to deep and meaningful, and they are deeply personal: whatever matters to your family can be made into a tradition.
I basically made traditions my research project. I talked to family after family, read book after book, and rounded up some of the very best traditions. Because there are so many, from silly to serious!
Both silly and serious, I believe, can serve a purpose, but at the very foundation, of course, is faith traditions. As I say in my book, Memory-Making Mom: “My husband and I make memories with our kids because we want to introduce them to Jesus. We bake muffins for the neighbors because we want to share God’s love with them. I rock my little girl when she’s scared at night because I want her to know that she can depend on her earthly parents, and she can depend on her Heavenly Father.”
Whether you have a whole slew of traditions or are just beginning to create them, there are always ideas to consider. Here are some of my favorites:
Family Day: We host a “Smart Family Day” in the summer. We do something fun together that we’ve never done, we present “awards” for the year, we eat our favorite foods. It’s adaptable throughout ages and stages.
Answered Prayer Day: One mom I talked to had a day in May where they celebrated all the answered prayers over the years. They bake a cake and recount answered prayers from this year and prior.
Christmas Candy-Caning: Choose a family who needs a little love over the holiday season. Sprinkle the yard with candy canes, leave a gift at the door, sprint out of sight. Exhilarating in the best way!
Every other year vacation and mission trip: Self-explanatory. I’ve heard the mission trips are actually the more memorable of the two.
Sunday snack dinner: This is my family’s favorite meal of the week. Simple snack foods, special drinks, paper plates for ease, and a small Bible reading at the end. Fun for all and easy on the cooks!
Are you longing for more traditions in your home? In Memory Making Mom, Popular “Smartter Each Day” blogger and mom of three, Jessica Smartt explains why memory-making is the puzzle piece that today’s families are longing for. She highlights the tradition-gifts kids need most with 300+ unique traditions including:
Food: Memories That Stick to Your Ribs
Holidays: Fall Bucket Lists, Crooked Christmas Trees, and Lingering Over Lent
Spontaneity: Let’s Go on an Adventure
Faith: Why You Need the Puzzle Box
She also offers practical encouragement to modern parents to keep on adventuring—even when they are fighting distractions, are on a budget, and exhausted. Pick up a copy of Memory-Making Mom today!