Here it is, November and the holidays are just around the corner! I love the fall and the colors that it brings along with the special events that bring families together. As your family is gathering with friends or extended family, think about the traditions or rituals you are celebrating. It’s the things that “you always do”, the things that the children look forward to and you have come to expect as part of your holidays. When we do these things, we are creating a strong family. Why is that?
Because Family Rituals help us to relate, communicate, show caring and problem solving. When we are together to catch up on things, we understand the challenges that other have had and how they worked through them.
Family Rituals help us as we go through stages in life….weddings, new babies, moving or job changes. Others can share how they have coped as many have gone through them before us.
Family Rituals help us to heal from loss or to forgive. When our loved ones can’t be with us anymore, it’s important for all of us to realize that life goes on and remember the good memories they left us.
These times together help us to think about what things are important to our family, our values, our faith and life experiences. Use this time to tell and record stories. Talk about why family members are successful, what character traits are important and how they achieved the things they have.
Celebrate the holidays by sharing why you are proud to be a part of this family, share with young adults and new family members the joys of being together. Share with them who’s the keeper of the family stories, who’s the one to always be laughing or telling jokes, who’s the one that knows the history?
Even if distance is keeping you from being together with extended family, look at the traditions you can do to share with your family and friends where you are. When we share time together we are weaving a network that will help to support us when things in our life are challenging.
Source: Melinda J. Hill, CFCS, CFLE
Reference: University of Wyoming, Dr. Ben Silliman