Activities: Bringing Your Family Closer Together Through Traditions
Traditions—Twenty years ago, I lived in the tiny town of Ponta Delgada on the tiny archipelagic island of São Miguel, part of the little European country of Portugal. Founded early in the 1400s and populated by a close-knit and deeply religious people, it is a society of very long-held traditions, traditions that involve things like Holy Ghost Soup and Portuguese-style bullfighting. Breaking some of these customs would be tantamount to heresy. Today, I live now, coincidentally, in another small town, which, although it was founded a mere 160 years ago, holds just as strongly to its traditions, involving things like an annual rodeo and mini-float parade.
Making traditions, as opposed to any regular family activity, means identifying elements from one's heritage that one wants to carry on, acknowledging the personalities of the family members involved, and planning together a commemorative activity. It doesn't have to mean that you always bake sugar cookie pine trees at Christmas; in fact, it's the uniqueness of it that makes it yours. On freshtakes.msn.com, I found some examples of various families' "fresh takes" on age-old customs.
The Gilmore family, for instance, takes scavenger hunting to a whole new level. They invite another family to be involved, as a group to compete against. They dress up as pirates; make a list of random things, clues to solve, or people to find (e.g. someone whose willing to give them a business card), find an impartial judge to tally points, and designate a reward like a car wash by the losing team.
I am inspired, by my past, my town, and this site to create a few funny family traditions of our own.
What are some of your favorite family traditions? How do traditions bring your family closer together?
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Photo courtesy of Flickr.