Creating Happy Family Traditions

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Make happy family traditions

Family traditions create happy memories and strengthen family bonds. You can create new ones or keep some of the practices that were handed down by your grandparents.

family Christmas picture
This year our family Christmas portrait was taken at the lobby of L’Fisher Hotel Bacolod. We didn’t know that they had a Winter Wonderland theme when we wore white.

The good thing about continuing family traditions that were started generations ago is that it gives you an opportunity to tell your children about the family members they never knew. It also gives them a glimpse into what lifestyles the families back then used to have.

Meanwhile, starting new family traditions gives you the chance to make happy memories that your children can pass along to their own children. And you will also be fondly remembered, long after you have passed along for generations to come.

Now, start filling up your memory banks with happy family memories.

When Traditions are Celebrated

Many family traditions center around holidays and birthdays. Certain foods, made from grandma or great-grandma’s recipes, may always appear on the holiday table. Nostalgic decorations may be carefully unpacked year after year so that the Christmas tree or Easter tabletop display contains items from past generations.

family Christmas picture
One Christmas, we wore red (except for our Dad), and we had our family Christmas portrait taken before the Christmas of the Abello family.

Christmas Family Traditions

One of the Christmas family traditions that we cherish is having a family photo taken with a Christmas tree at the background. It could be our own tree or somebody else’s, or maybe at the mall, it doesn’t matter. We just loving having our photos taken with different themed trees. We also try to coordinate our outfits for a certain year so that the photos will turn out nicely. Alright, maybe I just have OCD. hehe

family Christmas picture
A couple of Christmases ago we wore stripes and had our photo taken in front of the Christmas tree at SM City Bacolod.

We also make it a point to hype up the decorating of our Christmas tree. We are up for DIY Christmas decorations so that we can work on them together. It has become a tradition in our home so it is like a one-day holiday just doing the decors. And the kids love it! As long as we’re all happy doing it, we will keep doing this thing every Christmas.

Meanwhile, wedding traditions and the arrival of new family members may be celebrated according to family traditions to make them more meaningful.

Celebrating Special Days

We celebrate our kids’ birthdays with fanfare. It doesn’t have to be a big party with guests. It can only be just the four of us. But what are always present are the themed party elements – birthday cake, backdrop, and decors. We ask the kids what they want and we try to deliver them. That way, the pictures would look good and the kids can look back to their birthdays with delight.

Sofia the First birthday party
Our eldest Dindin’s 8th birthday at the orphanage. But of course, it had a theme and all the party favors that go with it.

This year, our main color was purple. For Dindin’s Sofia the First themed birthday party, of course, it was purple because of Sofia’s dress. Then for Siobe’s Dora themed birthday party, the predominant color was still purple. So yeah, you can make traditions based on color like what we did.

Dora theme birthday party
Siobe’s Dora-themed 4th birthday party has purple as the pre-dominant color. Even the birthday girl wore purple.

In addition to honoring long-standing family traditions, you can start your own new traditions. Instead of waiting for a holiday or birthday to begin something new, celebrate some of the special days that your family generally let go by without fanfare.

Take advantage of the various resources available that list numerous special days. Some of the special days are silly while others teach about history or honor special groups of people. You can get creative with these holidays on your calendar to create new traditions for your family.

Yellow Cab Family Christmas

One of the silly family traditions that we have kept for the last eight years now is having our Christmas lunch at Yellow Cab Pizza. We have done this every December 25 since 2010 and it seems that we will be doing it again this year. We don’t cook anymore during Christmas day so we all just go out and eat pizza and pasta at Yellow Cab. Afterwards, we would go around the mall for further Christmas shopping.

Christmas lunch at Yellow Cab Pizza
Having lunch at Yellow Cab Pizza last December 25, 2014. We have done this religiously since 2010.

Gift-Giving Traditions

When your first child or grandchild is born, you can start a new tradition with the baby gift or first birthday gift you select. Willow Tree Collection has gifts for various occasions.

When you are the giver of collectibles, family members will eagerly anticipate each new item that you will add to their collection. In addition to the typical gift-giving occasions, you may want to start a new tradition such as “surprise days” that can occur whenever someone needs encouragement, when they are sick, or when they have achieved a goal or made an important accomplishment. We do that to our kids, like giving them a prize for an achievement.

Heritage Food

There is nothing like food to bring the family together. In my family, my mother would usually prepare several dishes during Christmas or birthdays. And she would make big batches of these dishes for our guests as well as passers-by. She loves entertaining so she would prepare delicious foods.

Our spread would consist of heirloom recipes or new dishes she would learn from cooking shows or magazine recipe cutouts.

Read: Boneless Lechon Belly Recipe for Christmas

As much as you’d like to ignore it, the fact is that some of the recipes passed down from generations ago don’t exactly fall into the healthy eating category. You may not want to give up foods that have been a star feature of your usual Sunday dinner or the focal point of a party table.

However, out of concern for your health and your family’s health, you might want to update some of those favorite old recipes. A healthier version can then become the new tradition.

Charity

Charity is kind of a big thing for us because as a homeschooling in Bacolod family, one of the lessons that we want to impart to our kids is empathy. We want them to realize that the world does not just revolve around them and their wants. We want them to grow up with generous souls who know how about empathy.

So there are many ways that we share our blessings and we find creative ways to do it. Sometimes, we have a planned beneficiary, which is either a person or group. Or sometimes, we do it randomly, like one Christmas when we prepared some gift packs for the security guards on night duty around Bacolod.

SM Bears of Joy - charity
A new Christmas family tradition that we have started is the SM Bears of Joy. Not only do we buy bears, we join the SM Team when they deliver the bears to their beneficiary. This is going to be our third year.

But of the new family traditions that we have kept so far is the taking part in the SM Bears of Joy. Since our children are still young, we just think that sharing a toy like that would encourage them to empathize with children their age. They also get to write notes for the kids.

After buying and donating, we join the team from SM City Bacolod whenever they would deliver the bears to their chosen beneficiary. Our children enjoyed spending time with the orphans and the deaf-mute children in two of the beneficiary houses here in Bacolod.

For the last two years, we have also been joining the Christmas Tree of Hope at L’Fisher Hotel Bacolod. Each year, they have a different beneficiary that we hope to support. We join in the tree lighting ceremony at the hotel lobby then the kids get to give money and write messages on the cards to hang on the tree. It has been two years already and hopefully, we can do this yearly. Read more: What Does P100 Buy You?

Be Happy

Whatever family traditions you may have or the new ones you might think of, just remember that the focal point is making memories with the people you love. Stay happy, fam! 😀

Can you share some of your family traditions? Please comment below.


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