Passing Down Traditions We Value

I found a quote the other day that really struck a chord with me.

“Family traditions reveal what you value enough to repeat, and – if done with love – build warm, happy associations.” – Daniel Willingham

It made me think back to all of the things we did growing up and how much each one of them meant to me.

Christmas With Grammy and Grampy

Every Christmas, we would open presents ‘with’ my grandparents who lived in Florida. We pioneered Marco Polo before Marco Polo was cool!

We’d mail presents from Minnesota to Florida and Grammy and Grampy would record themselves opening them, then send back their presents with the VHS tape.

We loved watching Grammy sing make terrible dad jokes as he opened his gifs. We’d then return the VHS and call them as they watched us open the presents.

It was silly and seemingly trivial, but I remember it every year to this day. It was really important to me. As a mom, I appreciate how my parents made Christmas all the more magical with traditions.

Mom’s Dutch Apple Pie

My sister-in-law, Bekah and I recently made a Dutch Apple Pie, a tradition we’re carrying on from my husband’s mom. I asked my mother-in-law when she started making the pie. After a few quick calculations that dated her back to high school, she replied to my text…

“Wow. That is awful! That’s more than 40 years!”

So clearly this pie is a favorite in their family. (That recipe is at the bottom of this post if you’re interested.)

Traditions create a bond with those that we love. For children, they provide another piece to their identity. I think that’s so important to remember. We’re really trying to establish traditions in our family that help our boys focus on things that are important.

A Biblical Precedent

Talking through traditions also brought me back to the Jewish traditions outlined throughout scripture. Just think about all of the feasts and sacrificial traditions the people of Israel kept!

God knew traditions would have a great impact on remembering Him and what He’s done.

A Challenge for You This Christmas Season

As we’re coming up on the celebration of Christ’s birth, now is a great time to think about how to better focus on Jesus. Last year, we started going through the Jesus Storybook Bible Advent reading schedule.

It’s such an encouraging study as the reading plan weaves through the entire Bible, preparing the way for the rescuer.

If you’re interested in going through the Advent reading plan, you can pick up a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible on Amazon (currently on sale). The author of the book, Sally Lloyd Jones has a reading kit available for free on her website. It’s such a great resource!

Your Turn

So what are some traditions that you choose to carry on in your family? It’s always fun to read about how other celebrate particular holidays—even birthdays. And, it’s always encouraging to hear how other moms help their children focus on Christ and His sacrificial love for us.

I’d love to read about your traditions in the comments!

Let's Grab Coffee

If you liked this, you may enjoy my weekly Coffee Chats. Each week, I send out a few words of encouragement or a challenge for wives and mothers who need some love. I hope you’ll join us for a minute every Wednesday.