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How to start new meaningful family traditions



How do we start new family traditions?

Let’s talk about how to start new meaningful family traditions today. It doesn’t have to look like what we might first imagine when we hear the term “family tradition”. I hope to open your mind to a whole new world of possibilities. 

Family traditions can be anything that YOU and your unique family have decided to continue doing on a regular basis. 

When we first hear the phrase “family traditions” it can invoke visions of carving a beautiful turkey on Thanksgiving day, or singing carols around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.  While it certainly can look like those traditional ideas, it can be so much more.  

turkey being carved on a laden feasting table. lady in orange cardigan in background

Why are family traditions even important? 

Why should we care about creating new traditions with our families?

Dictionary.com defines “tradition” as “the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice:”

This “handing down” from generation to generation is what creates a strong sense of identity.  A sure sense of belonging. We use traditions as a great way to create our own family culture that is perfectly unique to our own family! Pretty special isn’t it?

Your own unique family traditions

Before we talk about some new fun traditions you could try out, I want you to first look at your own individual family. Notice what you all enjoy spending time doing together. What sporting events do you enjoy watching together? What adventures do you enjoy going on? Are there any holidays do you get especially jazzed about? 

Start there. Find what your specific family loves doing and go big on those things.  

If you’re not a Halloween person, but you love the fall season, then perhaps you would enjoy starting a big Harvest Party. If your family gets excited about hunting season, then make it a celebration! We can tailor these things to our own family. What a privilege we have to get to create our own family culture! 

gourmet french fries topped with spice mixture and finely chopped parsley

For instance, (a silly example) our family makes french fries for a snack after everyone gets home from Wednesday night church activities.  It started out as something we just happened to do a few times and we realized the kids especially started looking forward to it.  Now it’s a celebrated tradition that we plan for, expect, and enjoy together weekly. See, it doesn’t have to be fancy!

You can put YOUR family first

I just wanted to quickly give you permission to excuse your family from any outside “traditions” that you don’t enjoy.  

It’s so easy and socially acceptable to get caught up in running your family ragged. All this to appease loved ones outside your own family.  

Yes, it’s extremely important to get the kids to see the extended family. But if the day of the holiday doesn’t work, perhaps another weekend could be arranged.

grandchild walking on a beautiful garden path between grandma and grandpa

Don’t forget we are ultimately responsible for our own family’s well-being.  Again, I understand how important those gatherings can be. Just make sure it’s not to the detriment of your own family’s health. 

A real life example

One of my dearest friends was telling me how her family didn’t go back to her home state for Christmas. She said it was a huge blessing in her marriage. To her, it was a better trade, and less strain on her (own) family. She told me she arranged to go out another time. She even noted the quality time would be better without all the hubbub of the holiday pressure.  

I admire that mature decision to put her family before extended family pressures. 

But you get to choose!

If you thrive on the fun chaos of running your family from event to event, then of course you do what works best for your family! I just wanted to make a note on making healthy choices for our families. Even at the cost of momentary discomfort from extended family.  

​Let’s get some more ideas for fun new traditions!


New weekly family traditions can bring our family so much joy! Having something special that your family does every week can be a wonderful practice to come together and reconnect after a busy few days. This will give the kids a good sense of continuity and sense of belonging. Kids love knowing what to expect and they LOVE having things to look forward to. 

Family having a movie night with popcorn

Maybe your family has a fun weekly a movie night. Perhaps it could become a new family tradition where the kids even get to camp out in the living room and sleep with fairy lights strung about.  It would be even special with a unique drink that is only served on Friday nights. (Or any night you choose!)

Another weekly tradition that could be easy to incorporate is Sunday family dinner.  This could include some extended family if they live in the area. The kids could take turns choosing the meal and helping with the cooking and serving of the meal. 

Maybe the kids take turns inviting a friend to this special family meal during a weekday. This could be as simple as you want, but it could be a beautiful family outreach! Any moments can be made special. We just need to slow down long enough to notice them. 

Taco Tuesdays might be more your family’s style! You could get a special table cloth that is only used every Tuesday. And make sure the whole family gets to sit at the dinner table together. Dress it up and make it a special time of family fellowship. 

Game night celebration with friends holding cards and smiling

Perhaps a weekly game night, complete with a dance party for the entire family (yes even Mom and Dad!) 

What is something your family enjoys doing weekly?

Are there any things you could do to make it a special event your family acknowledges and claims as a new tradition?

Don’t forget to ask the kids if they have any great ideas for new family traditions. They might remember doing an activity with the whole family that you may have forgotten about. Kids never seem to forget anything!

A real life example

Another silly tradition we have is an award ceremony after a long road trip.  It started as a joke when the kids were really small and we needed to bribe them to travel well.  I was praising one of the kids saying they win the award for best potty training traveler.  They took me literally. So when we got home I printed up awards and bought a candy bar for each family member. Yes, even Daddy! Then we held our first of many award ceremonies.  

I shamelessly yell like Bruce Buffer and announce with great grandeur what each person has done to receive their personal award.  It has become a tradition that is sure to happen after a long road trip.  The kids especially enjoy this one.

These little things will strengthen your family unit and grow you closer together every time you enjoy one of these special traditions. 


One of my favorite books I’ve read on making our own family traditions is “The Lifegiving Home”, by Sally Clarkson. It’s a beautiful inspirational book. It will encourage you to look at your family and make some of your own traditions.

For our family, we took the idea (thank you Sally Clarkson) for a birthday brunch/prayer and made it our own.  We do a little brunch charcuterie board just for our family.

Brunch charcuterie bowl with croissants, berries, macarons, and pomegranate seeds sprinkled in

It has felt so intimate and has strengthened our family prayer time. We have encouraged the kids to take turns praying for the honorary member of the family. They otherwise wouldn’t have had those special times. We do love celebrating!


heart shaped pizzas to celebrate the Valentine's day holiday

If we were to go through the whole year, we could talk about every obvious holiday. Tea parties for Valentine’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day celebration complete with learning his true story (it’s beautiful) and munching on green food. Even a simple May Day gift packages snuck onto friends doorsteps can be a quick fun tradition that the kids are sure to enjoy.  


Don’t forget the fourth of July brunch parties, complete with a boat parade (if you live close to any lakes!)

What about a yearly summer adventure? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your family chose a specific place to travel to every summer?

4th of July picnic table covered in red checked table cloth and some lemonade, burgers, kabobs, and snacks. American flags in the background on banner.

Maybe you have a tradition of choosing a new place that you take a quick trip to every summer right before school starts. That would be a really fun tradition that would be perfectly curated for your own unique family. 


Fall is full of cozy traditional feels.  I know I’m not the only one that gets giddy just thinking about all that pumpkin spice!

kid holding a bunch of fallen leaves in front of his face

We love the great thrill of a new football season with soup in the crockpot.  I know sports aren’t for every family. You will need to adjust all of these ideas to fit your own family.  

Family traditions are meant to bless your family, not burden or stress you. 


Talking about family traditions just wouldn’t be complete without some holiday traditions. There are a myriad of family rituals that could take place during the holidays. However, the holiday season can sometimes feel like you’re just running from house to house for big holiday meals. I implore you to take some time to talk with your spouse about what you can do with just your family.

Cutout Christmas sugar cookies with green, red, and white royal icing.


Maybe you can start a fun family tradition of playing some “minute-to-win-it” games on Christmas eve. You could prepare a goodies tray for all of the neighbors, complete with an invitation to your Church’s candlelight Christmas service. Maybe you want to start a midnight celebration complete with Christmas cookies and sleeping under the tree. 

You could stay in your pajamas on Christmas day, and open presents while you watch “the Star”.  These will all look different depending on what age your children are, and what season of life you’re in.  Remember, it’s meant to be a blessing, not a burden. 

New year’s Eve celebrations can still be something your family embraces, even if we don’t stay up all night! We have started a fun tradition of assessing our past year’s accomplishments and setting personal goals for the next year.  Yes, even the kids do this with us. 

Creating new meaningful family traditions for your own family

​Whether you’re looking to jazz up some existing traditions your family enjoys, or you are looking to start some new traditions from scratch, I hope this has brought you some encouragement.  Holiday celebrations can feel so overwhelming if we are trying to fit into another family’s mold.  Embrace the wonderful things that make your own family unique and start celebrating today

What are some of your family’s favorite traditions? 

Hi, I’m Stephanie! I’m a Christian wife, mom of 4, homeschooler, and a technically trained chef. I love creating a simple, beautiful life with our sweet family.

I’m so glad you’re here!

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