Building Stronger Bonds Through Tradition

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Fall is the perfect time of year to begin thinking of family traditions, which to continue, and a few to begin.

As we gather around tables for traditional meals we build stronger bonds with those who join us. It is an opportunity to honor the past by holding on to the good while creating new memories to carry into the future.

When the kids were little the fall brought with it pumpkin patches and harvest festivals, trick or treating and more sugar than I care to admit. As they grew older our traditions changed. Haunted houses, Halloween parties, and school events filled October.

Thanksgiving held onto the same fall traditional foods of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pies with new dishes being added each year along with new faces at our table. Our traditional menu kept its core but grew with the addition of loved ones. Traditions have a way of changing with us.

Apples, pumpkins, fresh corn, and squash continue to fill our gardens, our recipes, and fall décor. But traditions don’t just fall around the holidays. They fill up the everyday moments of our lives as well.

5 Ways Traditions Build Stronger Bonds

1.      Long hard school days are rewarded with comfort food. Warm cookies or a scratch made mac and cheese are a reminder that mom loves you even when it may feel like the rest of the world is against you.

2.      New babies and new neighbors are welcomed with the perfect drink box. A visit is always welcome with a tasty gift and the opportunity to make new friends.

3.      A crisp fall evening can be enjoyed with an autumn inspired soft cocktail or hot drink. A drink in hand and a quiet evening are perfect moments to bond. Some of my best memories have been made in front of a fire with hot beverage in hand. Staring into a fire opens up conversations and stories that are missed in the business of life.

4.      The end of the week can be marked with a family pizza and game night. We all love to retell the stories of when Johnny flipped the Monopoly board or how we play Risk every Thanksgiving but never quite make it to the end of the game.  

5.      Nostalgic recipes passed down from previous generations are the perfect catalyst to retell favorite stories. They also offer an opportunity to invite children into the kitchen to teach them how grandma made this recipe and the story of why.

Traditions help form bonds for families and communities. The beliefs, rituals, and customs that we label as traditional help bridge the gaps between generations as they are passed down. They are moments to look forward to every year and remind us that we will see our loved ones again. They are also moments that remind us of the loved ones we’ve lost and help us honor their memory.  

Including the children in the planning of traditional gatherings helps them learn to take pride in the family and in their heritage. While traditions may change with us over the years they continue to create a sense of belonging for those who participate.

I would love to hear what traditions your family and friends participate in. Be sure to share in the comments.

As you prepare your menus for the coming traditional autumn meals make sure you have the right tools on hand.

In a rapidly changing world you may wonder if tradition even matters. If this is you I encourage you to check out this post. Tradition offers us consistency, stability, and a link to those who went before us. I for one think that is something worth holding on to.

Marnie ClarkComment