When I was younger, I didn’t understand the importance of family traditions and how they contribute to the health of the family well-being. In family traditions, when a family places high focus outside of the nuclear family, they create what is called an entropic family. The entropic family is a nuclear family that loses its emotional ties and bonds with one another. This happens when a family places time and energy outside of the inner family. The usual busy daily routine can cause a family to lose its touch with one another.
As mentioned in my Why I Am No Longer Vegan video, in the South, a large percentage of bonding happens around food. I loved national holidays like Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas because it was guaranteed that everyone would come together. We would see how much everyone has grown, play games and eat our favorite foods. Now that I am older and have my own family, I understand why that tradition gave me a sense of belonging. I recall going on a trip to Destin, FL with my nuclear family. It was beautiful and I hope to do the same with my own family. On occasion, we would take family holiday trips to other states with extended family too. Those times bring warmth and a smile to my heart. Daily, my siblings and I would eat together, convene in the living room to talk, and take trips to together (as siblings when I acquired my license). I loved when we went to the park to picnic and have fun.
It is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of school, career, social fun and trying to maintain your own identity among it all. Having and maintaining family traditions are vital. Family traditions are rituals that cultivate love, security and a sense of belonging. There is this one-dimensional belief about rituals and this is part of the issue. A ritual signifies a moment of importance. Yes, there is this belief that witches, or brujas, are using rituals to conjure spirits. However, rituals are used in religions and everyday life. When one drinks wine and eats the bread at church, that is a ritual. If your family vacations quarterly to strengthen familial bonds, that is a ritual.
Below, I have created a list of family traditions that are free from nationall influence. In no way am I saying that every family should do each and every one that is on this list. Nor am I saying that we do everything on this list. The list below is for you to pick what suits your family and start making memories today! So, here are 20+ family traditions for the millennial family.
- Morning Family Affirmations – almost every morning my fiancé and I read an affirmation (or prayer) to each other. In this affirmation, we thank the Universe for what we have, our family and our health.
- Essential Oils and Sage Cleansing – as a family place the desired essential oil on your wrists and temples. I personally enjoy using lavender and lemongrass.
- Grab some sun – as a family step outside in the sun together
- Homework session
- Eat together for dinner (and some days without TV)
- Read a bedtime story – have the children to read aloud to you when they get older
- Hug – hug one another at least once a day; hugs are very comforting!
- Morning/Evening Walk (or Exercise Day)
- Movie Night
- Dinner Theme (Taco Tuesdays, Wings Wednesdays, Pizza Fridays and etc.)
- Spiritual Ritual – as family you all complete a ritual together to either cleanse yourself for the week ahead or to ground yourself mid-week
- Clean Day – clean the house as a family and allow the winner of Rock, Paper, Scissors to choose the first song
- Family Meeting – when my fiancé and I have issues to discuss with one another, we state an affirmation beforehand and then we discuss areas of discontent; we call this the “safe zone”. As a family, use the family meeting night to discuss issues and concerns. As a couple, use the family meeting to discuss finances, family concerns and etc.
- Huge Sunday Dinner
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- Saturday Brunch
- Volunteer Together – as a family pick a cause that ignites your altruism and volunteer together
- Farmer’s Market Shopping
- Family Note Center – create envelopes for each family member and hang them in the kitchen. Each family member can write a positive note to one another, which can be read at the end of the month.
- Mystery Day – place a list of activites in a jar and pick one
- Family Picnic
- Library Day – as a family visit the library and check out books to read
- Family Vacation
- Holiday Celebration (Kwanzaa)
- Family Reunion
- Farm Visit – visit a farm as a family and pick fresh fruits and vegetables (ie. apple farm)
- First Day of School photo
- Birthday Celebration – as a family make the family member’s cake (or dinner) and allow them to decorate their room (or let the kids pitch in to decorate the parent’s room)
- Family Talent Show
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