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Routines, Rituals, and Traditions

One tasty tradition

One tasty tradition

Routines, rituals, traditions. Some of my favorite things. I’m not sure what it is about doing something at the same time every day, every week, or every year that gives me such joy and peace, but there it is.

When we were reading about the Passover this year, the verse that stood out to me was that God told them to celebrate it yearly, so they wouldn’t forget His protection. (Exodus 12:14.)

I guess deep down, that is what all the traditions I’ve developed in our family boil down to. While enjoying moments of fun, warmth, and total security, we’re also creating set points in our daughters’ lives that they will always remember. And the mom in me hopes they’ll one day return home for some of these traditions and remember their rich childhood filled with love. Of course, I also hope that they’ll pass them on to their own children, and create some new ones, too.

The only problem with routines is, like anything, you can overdo it. I’ve been known to get so enthusiastic about traditions that make it practically impossible to keep up with them all. That will have to be part of my kids’ memories, too. Their wacky mom who was always planning something!

In spite of my flakiness, several things have stayed put over the years.

Here are some simple ones I’ve shared:

Sick Days
Lazy Day
Bedtime Rituals

What are some of your favorite routines?

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  1. says

    One of our favorite routines is snuggle time. When the kids are all ready for bed, we all line up across the couch and snuggle for just a little bit before bed. We’ve been doing this ever since the kids were little – they are now 13 and 10! Needless to say we have to squeeze to all fit on the couch, but the kids love it as much as we do.

  2. says

    I’ve tried to implement many traditions but the ones that fit naturally are the ones that we stick with. We have Sister’s night (http://thetiethatbindsus.com/?s=sisters+night) and Man’s country on Monday nights. That one has stuck for over a year. We also have family game night, movie night, conversation starters at dinner and when its warm we go to watch the sunset on the beach a lot. (cause we are 5 min. away). I have a list of things that haven’t stuck over the years, but they still have left us with lots of great memories.

    I think the best ones are the simple ones.

  3. says

    After 26 years of parenting six children I have seen some traditions come and go. I have also seen that things become traditions that I didn’t even realize.
    One I love is pulling out books according to the season. I have collected children’s books for every season…Christmas, the Feast, Easter, Valentines, Fourth of July. I put them across the coffee table and other locations. Some years we are able to read through them all, some years not as many, but their familiar titles remind us of the season at hand.
    We have also always had the tradition of not having traditional meals. We all look forward to creating something new for Christmas and Easter meals. Some years it might look traditional and some years very nontraditional, but for us that is the fun of it.
    Parenting through the teen years and all the busy schedules has been hard to hold down many of the traditions I started when they were all young. I continue to try with the last two of the six.
    I guess when they have children of their own I will hear what they considered our traditions….they might not be what I considered as a tradition.
    Now to go get out books for the season at hand.

    • Angela says

      That is awesome! I keep our Christmas books with our Christmas stuff, so they come out once a year, but the rest of them are pretty much mixed together. Books are so much more special when they only come out once a year :)

  4. says

    Hi! I’m new here. I found you via simplemom. I enjoyed all your posts on traditions! I’m very big on bedtime traditions and one thing my son (5 yrs old) and I do is snuggle after prayer time. He tells me his favorite part of the day and evening and his least favorite if there is one. And then I tell him mine. It’s a precious thing, really. We have other traditions during certain holidays like making resurrection cookies at Easter and having a chocolate sprinkle donut for breakfast on your birthday just to name a few.

  5. says

    Hi Angela,

    I’m new here too, found you via Simple Mom. Anyway, I like the reminder on the spiritual roots of having traditions – so we can remember the glorious things, the good gifts, the grace in life. And not just for the sake of having them. Thanks! I have an 18 month old toddler and our favorite thing to do is picnics and explorations by the beach. I love the beach and the ocean, and I hope my times there with my daughter will remind her of our smallness but in our Creator’s vastness.

  6. Lisa says

    I really love traditions as well!

    Some include:
    * A Christmas tablecloth that comes out for our main meal on Christmas Day. Each person uses a fabric marker and draws around their hand print (where they were sitting or close to it) and signs their name and dates it. This has been going on for several years now and is starting to fill up. It is neat seeing who sat where on previous years, and how the kids’ hands have grown!

    * Each year every child gets to pick a Christmas decoration. We have their name and the year written either on the decoration or attached with a tag. The kids love looking at their decorations from years gone by! They get to take them when they leave, so they will be able to put them on their own trees as adults.

    * We have a special M&M container that only comes out in December, and gets filled and refilled several times during that month.

    * Each child gets a special birthday bath on their birthday. This includes food colouring, bubbles, balloons, and glow sticks in the bathwater, and some decorations in the bathroom!

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