Daily Leadership Thought #107 – Family Traditions Are Important

March 18, 2011

Readers' Advisory: Family Traditions

Family time is important, especially as we age.  I was lucky growing up that my mother (and as time passed my sisters) liked to celebrate most holidays.  She would try to do something special to acknowledge the day whether it was having us wear red, white, and blue on Flag Day or dying our ginger ale green on St. Patrick‘s Day.  Dad would take immense pleasure in putting up the tree and decorating the outside of the house with lights at Christmas.  We also had special foods we would eat on the major holidays such as ham on New Year’s Day and lamb for Easter dinner.  There was always something to look forward to and mark the passage of time.  Most importantly, being blessed to be from a big family, these events were also good excuses to get the whole family together, especially as people grew up and moved on with starting their own families.  I remember looking forward to Sunday dinners because inevitably there was always a sibling with their spouse and kids joining us at the table.

Time does march on.  There is nothing we can do to stop it or slow it down.  All we can do is learn to appreciate the moments.  One way to do this is to create rituals and traditions that add a sense of expectation and predictability of joy to our lives.  As families and friends continue to disperse geographically and the demands of everyday life sometimes allow gaps to form in our important relationships, it is essential to stay grounded in the things that keep us connected.  It is even better if some of these family traditions continue with multiple generations because once they are lost, they are hard to recapture.