Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thank You Thursday-Traditions

Family Traditions
"The Little Things are The Big Things"
Thursday night was HFPE (Enrichment)for one of the wards in our stake. I was asked to come and talk about Family Traditions. It was fun for me to gather information and collect ideas to share. 
There are so many great resources out there. I found countless Ensign articles, Conference talks and studies on the benefits of Family Traditions. I've always loved traditions but I didn't fully understand or realize the profound impact they truly have.
I was really inspired from one of my favorite books, 
Strengthening Our Families   
There is an essay by Lloyd D. Newell from his research on Family Traditions.  

He came up with 5 Values Traditions give to families:

1. Traditions are a source of strength.

In a world of chaos, traditions give families a sense of security. Traditions help to instill unity. Researchers and scholars have observed that eating dinner together, praying together, observing holidays together, and holding family celebrations for birthdays, anniversaries, and accomplishments bring closeness and unity to the family.

2. Traditions mold family and personal identity.

Through traditions, children are able to gain an understanding of what their parents, and family, value. This understanding instills in children a sense of identity. They learn about who they are, where they belong, and what their family feels is good and important. The inclination to loneliness and self-doubt are lessened.

3. Traditions are a source of connection between the generations.
Traditions have the capability to last and remain strong through the ages. Relations and connections are strengthened as mother and daughter, great-grandfather and great-granddaughter, uncle and nephew, participate in an activity that holds significant importance for all.

We all hope that something will outlive us, that a part of us will linger for a while after we are gone. The things of this world will soon be forgotten and turned to dust, but stories and memories, skills and knowledge, can last forever. The present always becomes the past for someone else. If we are wise, and we take the time and make the effort we can leave a remarkable legacy that will teach, inform, and inspire the next generation.

4. Traditions allow families to examine themselves.
Whenever a new family begins, that family needs to evaluate what is important to them. Traditions allow families to adjust and mold old traditions to fit their particular family values and standards.

5. Traditions are laden with meaning.
Family traditions are the practice of passing on significant ideals from one generation to the next. With each generation the exact tradition may change, but the underlying significance rooted deep within remains the same.

(the title for the evening)
Elder Richards L. Evans counseled, “Oh parents, we would plead, give good and happy memories to your children – not pampering or over indulging, not satisfying everything they take a fancy to – but memories of love, encouragement, of peace and harmony and happiness at home – memories that will bless and lift their lives wherever they are, always and forever."
The lavish parties and the expensive gifts are not what we remember fondly from our childhood days.
 It’s the simple family events repeated over and over again that stay with us.
 It’s the little things you do in your family that make it unique and interesting.

It has been said that traditions 
are the we always 
of families.  

This summer I started a new tradition with my little granddaughters, “The Nana Sleepover”  Ella had her turn last week.

We had such a fun afternoon.  I told Ella we could do whatever she wanted for dinner. She wanted spaghetti. She loves to cook and came in the kitchen with me.   

I put the pot on to boil and was reaching for the pasta when Ella said something that was music to my ears! 
She said “We Always” have spaghetti on Valentine’s Day and proceeded to tell me the rest of their fun Valentine traditions.
Good job Marci and Mike
After my presentation Thursday night, we shared experiences from our childhoods, traditions we are doing with our families now and things we had seen or heard from friends and others that inspired us.(Thanks Heather and Heather!)
It was fun pulling up fond memories and it was wonderful to hear so many ideassmall things” we can do in our families.  
Doing these repeated activities and rituals not only strengthens our family connections and blesses us with family values, the best part of all is, it actually simplifies our lives, making it easier on us and more memorable for everyone.
We don’t have to come up with new and different things to do or eat every time we get together when there is a tradition aka "we always" in place!
I've been wanting to do these little trees for years.  I finally found a resource for wire for a tree.  I have a Martha Stewart leaf punch that I thought was the perfect size leaf to hang on the tree.  The little paper mache box is filled with leaves waiting to be counted as a blessing and then hung on the "Thankful Tree".
a new

Thanksgiving Tradition

I love it so much, I've decided to sell 
"Thankful Trees" this year at Etsy and Pineapple Hill

...wanted to give a treat and
decided to share this strawberry goodness.
I bought these cute little sugar cookies and frosted them with
delicious and "sweet" Strawberry Frosting.

I handed out a flier with lists of tradition ideas.
You can get a copy HERE

Elder L. Tom Perry:  “If we build righteous traditions in our families, the light of the gospel can ever grow brighter in the lives of our children from generation to generation  We can look forward to that glorious day when we will all be united together as eternal family units to reap the everlasting joy promised us by our Eternal Father for His righteous children.  Our family activities and traditions can be a beacon to the rest of the world as an example of how we should live to merit His choice blessings and live in peace and harmony until the day He returns to rule and reign over us."

More Resources:
FHE Jars 
Family Tradition Ideas
Establishing Family Traditions
Creating Traditions and Memories
12 Holiday Traditions
St. Patrick's Day Traditions
Elder L. Tom Perry
Righteous Traditions, Cheryl C. Lant
The Family Home Evening Spot
81 Christmas Traditions
Real Simple
Family Home Evening
A Year Of FHE Lessons
Family Reunion Helper
Family Fun Links


Marci said...

I'm so glad you posted all your resources so we can get to them easily! You did such a great job...everyone loved it!!!

Cheryl Joy said...

You are so amazing. I'm so happy to be part of your family. I have always admired your family traditions. I've come up with a few for our little family-to-be (no, not prego yet.. ;) and I can't wait for Mark to come home. I guess I could start some deployment traditions though.

You inspire me. :)

Diane said...

Very nice post. good job Nana :)

Melanie said...

I am also so glad you posted your resources! I'm still out of town, but I have heard such fabulous things about your presentation. I heard it was just perfect. Thank you again! I wish I could have been there.

Christina said...

I'm glad I came and had a look! The 5 values essay by Lloyd D. Newell was great! and the link to 12 Holiday traditions is going into use THIS YEAR!!!! xoxo!

calicocat said...

That sounds like such a fun class and I love all of your awesome ideas.

Dottie said...

I wish I could have come! It looks so fun. Great information. Thanks!

queensy said...

I just love all your ideas and the resources are so nice to have. Thanks!