Monday, December 2, 2013


Handing Down Family Customs

(C) Krystyna Farquhar
     This past week I have been thinking about traditions. Our family has three specific traditions that we have carried on for nearly 20 years. First, though, let's talk about what traditions are. By definition, tradition is a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc. for a long time (
     Our Jewish brothers and sisters are celebrating Hannukah this week to honor the miracle of their ancestors' lamps burning when the oil they had wouldn't last beyond that first night. It lasted 8 days and they remember the Lord for providing for them. 

     The Amish have a tradition on Thanksgiving Day of fasting until the evening meal is served. In the morning, the Amish gather for devotions, and many of them share something they are grateful for. The adults and older children have a time of prayer and fasting during the morning hours, and then around noon they gather with other family members for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. 
     In our family, we have a big meal at Thanskgiving with many of the older children preparing some portion of it. The following evening, I write the names of each family member on a piece of paper and we take turns drawing the names of our 'Secret Santa.' This tradition began when our oldest son was almost 5 years old and he wanted to buy presents for his little brother and sister. We have carried on the tradition ever since (That son of ours will be 25 in January!). On Christmas Eve after our church candlelight service, we drive around looking at Christmas lights and then come home to open the gifts from our secret Santa.
     Our final holiday tradition is the giving of one gift in each child's stocking each day the week before Christmas. Sometimes the gifts are funny but practical like everyone getting a toothbrush! And sometimes they are special, adding to their collection of holiday decorations, like giving mini snowglobes or minature ornaments.
     Often, we began these traditions of ours so that the children would have events to anticipate as we drew closer to the holiday. What it really did was create a unity within our family that even now is a part of the aadult children's fond memories of Christmas. The traditions also created a basis for the children to think about what traditions they wanted to include in their own families. What an awesome tradition to pass down: traditions!

     What are some of your family tradition during the holidays and how were they started?



No comments:

Post a Comment