I got home from work today absolutely exhausted. While I'm having more and more good days, there are still plenty of bad ones, and today was one of the bad ones. As soon as I got home, I went straight to bed, hoping to magically find some energy for mothering my children once they hopped off the bus.
Sophia was the first to arrive home and I was dead asleep. She woke me up with her usual boisterousness and told me she wanted to surprise everyone else and get the house all decorated for Halloween before they came home. I couldn't tell her no, but I am pretty sure she had no idea how big a job that actually was.
Before I had Lyme disease, I would have the house decked out in fall decor on the first day of school so that the girls could come home to it. I didn't even try to bring up the bin this year, and I realized today that Sophia had been waiting for that. Normally, I would be all up and running for Halloween as soon as the calendar changed to October. This year I was thinking I might put up a couple things and leave the other three bins downstairs and worry about it next year.
But Sophia wasn't having any of that. She dragged all three bins up all by herself and told me she would just start without me and I could come help when I was feeling okay. I let her work for about 20 minutes, and then I got up to see what she had done and help her finish the rest.
We had a great time together finishing up the Halloween decorating, and I'm so glad that she made me do it.
Family traditions are important.
I have found it somewhat amusing how quickly my girls deem something a "tradition." I'll try some cute idea I find online and then when I don't do it the next year they are asking what happened to that one tradition? Needless to say, I've learned to be a little more careful about what cute Pinterest ideas I try, especially around the holidays.
But I have also learned why families need traditions.
Traditions are the glue that sticks us together.
My girls are normal siblings and they don't always get along. But as soon as a cherished tradition comes along, they are suddenly best of friends as they anticipate the activity and during the activity. And even for a little while after the activity.
Related: The Making of a Christmas Tradition
Planning the events every year helps me feel closer to my children, too. I love thinking about the things they will love and putting together a fun activity for them. It helps me to forget the stress of the day-to-day and all the little things the kids do that cause me to become more impatient and cranky (see above about them being normal siblings that fight sometimes).
Traditions give us a reason to spend quality time together as a family. And they actually look forward to spending time together!
Traditions are a way to teach your children values.
A large portion of the traditions that we observe in our family are religious in nature. Christmas and Easter traditions, for instance, are a way to teach our children about our belief in Jesus Christ and how to have Christlike attributes ourselves. Other traditions, such as our back-to-school feasts, are ways we can help our family become better through a family theme that we base on scripture.
Even the fun traditions pass on values. Family togetherness and fun are important values, too!
My kids look forward to our family traditions more than anything else.
The excitement they have for these celebrations is contagious. The very last thing I wanted to do today was to decorate for Halloween. But Sophia's exuberance rubbed off on me, and I am so glad we did it.
We love our traditions, and we do look forward to them. Even if it means that I have to drag my tired bones out of bed and decorate or put things together, it's totally worth it.
Some of our favorite traditions throughout the year (click on the photos to read more about these traditions):
We have many, many more. Some are as simple as Sunday dinners in the dining room, watching football games as a family, or reading scriptures together every morning. All of them are things that make our family who we are and give our children a sense of belonging.
It's never too late to create a new family tradition! We do it on a pretty regular basis at our house—sometimes inadvertently, sometimes mindfully, but always joyfully.
Tradition binds us together and makes our homes and hearts happier.
I love our traditions!
This post is part of my 31 Days to a Happier Home series.
To see all the posts in this series, click here: 31 Days to a Happier Home
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