Traditions establish identity. I don’t know a person who isn’t proud of their family traditions. Those traditions make us who we are. They teach us what “the good life” looks like and create feelings of unity and love which instill desires for more family experiences and deeper relationships. Traditions give us hope for our futures.
Those blessed family traditions teach us to love and want families. They bind us together with deep, emotions. Those treasured experiences are also what helps family members forgive each other. And, often times, traditions even bring people back into the family fold after being offended or going astray.
Ideas For Family Traditions
In the year 1998 our Thanksgiving holidays changed forever. We have always had great traditions for all of our holidays, but that year we experienced thankfulness a bit differently and we liked it.
1998 was the year of the Thanksgiving book. We started making a family book where we gave thanks each year for the blessings we had received. We each took a page and recounted experiences which we had over the year which blessed our lives. Births and blessings were recorded in great abundance. We then took turns reading the blessing sheets. This new tradition created a sense of gratitude through reflection which made the day more special.
Then in 2007 we started a new tradition again. The point was the same, but the effect was a bit different. We started the Thanksgiving tablecloth. Each Thanksgiving after dinner we take a few moments to write what we are thankful for on the tablecloth with fabric markers. We write words and draw pictures, and record the date and our names.
Each year since, when the Thanksgiving table is being set and the dinner is in progress there is conversation about the tablecloth. We remember the blessings of years past. The discussion around the tablecloth has a beautiful reminiscent feeling which fills my soul with gratitude and love for those I am eating with. It is a truly magical thing.
Sadly, we haven’t used the Thanksgiving binder for a while. Somehow we just forgot over the years. Those handwritten years will be priceless parts of family history though. Maybe this year we will add to the book again.
But, even if we never do, the Thanksgiving tablecloth will be there to remind us each year of our blessings from the past.
If you have a tablecloth that never seems to get used, you may want to consider starting yourself a new, meaningful tradition.
God bless your family this Thanksgiving.