To teach the importance of spending time together as a family, which can be a lot of fun with family traditions!
Family traditions are what cement the foundation of a happy home. They are what create the wonderful memories that families have together like nothing else can. They are practices that have been handed down from generation to generation or have been started new in our own families. They come from our cultural or heritage or from our religious practices.
Family traditions can be as simply as kissing each other goodbye, tucking the kids in at night and reading a bedtime story, to pancakes on Fridays, to baths on Saturdays, to big birthday parties, to certain Christmas Eve parties, to etc.
Some of the most important ones, should be ones that help bring spiritual understanding. We should be saying family prayers, to daily scripture study, personal prayers, personal scripture study, family home evenings, keeping the Sabbath Day holy, etc.
Examples of Family Traditions1
1. Let each person choose the dinner menu for his or her birthday.
2. Celebrate birthdays of famous people or the days of their discoveries in history: Pizza for dinner on Columbus Day (round pizza to signify the earth) while discussing the voyage; cherry pie for Washington’s birthday; German chocolate cake for Beethoven’s birthday while listening to one of his symphonies (most children will choose the Fifth).
3. Assign someone to choose a topic of conversation for the dinner meal.
4. Give a Bible or Book of Mormon to each child on his or her eighth birthday.
5. Have a family reunion on a great-grandparent’s birthday each year.
6. Assign each family member to take notes when listening to general conference, then discuss them in family home evening.
7. Run, jog, bike ride, or walk regularly as a family.
8. Read aloud to your children, regardless of their age, and have them read to you.
9. Celebrate the birthday of an ancestor.
10. Attend tithing settlement together as a family.
11. Hold individual interviews with children on Fast Sunday afternoon.
12. Play soft music nightly (especially classical or semi-classical) to set a tone of serenity in the home.
13. Hold family home evenings in different rooms of the house. Have each child serve as host or hostess in turn, arranging for seating and treats.
14. Support each family member participating in athletic events, musical performances, or other productions.
15. As a family, cut firewood and then have a picnic.
16. Discuss Sunday School or Primary lessons at dinner time.
17. Keep a family journal, letting children write in it too.
18. Visit grandparents on Sundays.
19. Tell a bedtime story each night.
20. Always have children report in after an evening activity, at the parents’ bedside.
21. Kiss each other good night.
22. Set family goals on New Year’s Eve, or let each plan an adventure he hopes to have (individually and together) during the coming year.
23. Make items for family members on special occasions.
24. Collect in a binder songs that the family can learn and sing together in the car or at home.
25. Write a family letter and circulate it among relatives, each adding something to it. Save the letters to make a book for family reunions.
26. Allow each child a regular time to stay up fifteen minutes longer than the other children to spend time alone with parents, or plan a “night out” with each child.
27. Establish your own holidays, for your own reasons.
28. Make a flag for each family member, possibly designed by each, to be flown at your house on special occasions.
29. Have a special plate, glass, or cup that is used at dinner by a family member who has an event or reason to celebrate.30. Let Dad and children cook breakfast on Saturday mornings, allowing Mother to rest.
31. Establish one night a week as “Oral Reading Night.” Select an appropriate book and read it aloud, as a family, for a predetermined period of time.
32. Set a time for family testimonies or gospel study.
1 Ensign March 1986 Traditions Worth Keeping