Recording family history and traditions~
It's the Monday after Easter as I write this. I'm sure, like many of you, my heart is full. Full because of the meaning of this holiday for Christians, and full because of time spent with beloved family at this time. And just like many of you, I'm looking at the sweet pictures from the weekend on my cell phone or camera.
If you're taking it easy this week after the rush of the holiday, I would like to encourage you to take some time to RECORD your memories and pictures of the holiday for your kids, grandkids, and great-grand kids. You can do it in a published book like I have, or a scrapbook or a journal. There's even a new term for a scrapbook--a SMASH book. It's much more haphazard and random. Not so formal and neat as a scrapbook and you can "smash" anything into it: photos, a pressing of the Easter corsage you got from your family, tickets stubs from the zoo or other springtime activity, brief essays of current holidays and holiday memories of your youth. There are no rules and regulations for a smash book, and to my way of thinking, that makes it even more fun.
The important thing is to record your family customs and traditions.
Why traditions are important~
I've addressed this subject before in this blog. After all, that's what this blog is about--sharing family customs through the SEASONS of the year. In November I discussed why I think it's important, and I quoted a favorite book, The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More, by Bruce Feiler. I quoted him then, "The more children know about their family's history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives and the higher their self-esteem." He explained that it gives them a sense of traditions and helps them realize they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Traditions are stories, beliefs, rituals and customs that are passed from one generation to the next. On Easter and other holidays, children can observe the goings-on around them and participate in them. They know that dyeing eggs, going to Easter egg hunts, going to church, big family dinners are all a part of the customs of their families. But why not record all that so they can revisit those days of their childhood over and over, and eventually share with their children and grandchildren? That's what I've opted to do by self-publishing my Easter books pictured throughout today's blog.
More thoughts on holiday customs~
And with Easter, it's not just about sharing our springtime customs and fun; for many families, it's about sharing our faith. This is a time we can witness to our children and grandchildren, share the value of our beliefs, and model it by worshiping at church, and coming together as a family. Another very important reason to document this for posterity.
One thing we don't often think about, but coming together as a family for small events or BIG events, adds to our children's sense of security. If your family eats together each night, that small event brings comfort to kids. They KNOW they will be with family and can discuss things of importance to them. It's the same with big celebrations--kids KNOW they will be going to gramma's for Christmas, or there will be a big family dinner on Easter. There's a comfort to that. It's important to have a few constants in your life--especially in our crazy, fast-paced world.
Again, the reasons for having family customs and traditions are myriad, everything from providing a strong sense of self to family members, to strengthening the family bonds, to offering a feeling of security.
It gives us a sense of connection. It ties us to family that came before, and it ties us to future generations, especially if we save our customs in some physical way and not just word-of-mouth. Paste those beloved pictures in a scrapbook, or write about them in your journal. It really is that important. I saved this quote in my quote folder from David Dawson Humes. It sums up this blog so well: "Family traditions are physical representations of our place in a never-ending story that includes everyone we've ever loved, and everybody they've ever loved, and so on. Observing and preserving tradition, and teaching it to our children, grounds us all in an ongoing project that will last far beyond our own short time on Earth."
So do it--sit down right now while it's all fresh in your mind, and preserve those family Easter customs and memories!
Great article from the Huffington Post:
Coming next week~
I have another guest blogger! It's my husband!! Our grandson just made the golf team, and it got me to thinking that Poppa needs to share the importance of grandfathers sharing their hobbies with their grands. Alan and our grandson have played golf together for years. So watch for that blog!
Happy SPRING everyone--go forth and spread the love!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!