Family Traditions

By Paula Bowlby, Early Childhood Associate Pastor

Woodland Hills Church

Family traditions are such wonderful ways to bond and pass on family values. Growing up, I fondly remember going with my family to look at Christmas lights, eating special traditional meals, and playing “secret Santa” to a family in need. As I raised my children, I started traditions of my own: fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies on the first day of school, waffles for breakfast on Christmas morning, and leaving little love notes and gifts around for my kids to find. Some of the traditions were intentional, some of the traditions changed as my family changed, and some of the traditions were born out of listening to my kids and their desire to continue on with an activity year after year.

I found when my children were younger, I defaulted to many of the family traditions that I had grown up with. As the kids and I both matured, we settled in and made our own traditions. When I was first establishing our traditions, I stayed with the main holidays: Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. In my little family, the traditions quickly branched out to first day of school, Caribou and bagels on standardized testing days, and a bag of goodies for Valentine’s Day. This year was my very first year in 18 years where I did not make the first day of school cookies. 18 years! As a mom, it was a little bit of a sad day watching all the kids get on the bus and know that I was through with that stage of my life. Now, because all my children are adults and starting to branch out themselves, new traditions will need to be established again.

What traditions have you established in your family? Did you intentionally establish those traditions? Have your traditions changed? We would love to hear, so please comment below.

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