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Making Traditions Stick

by Aimee Cardwell 17 Feb 2020


How do you become the family in matching Christmas jammies? Serious question!




We can probably break down family traditions into two categories: the 'big' and 'little' stuff. 


The Big Stuff 

These traditions generally revolve around festive holidays and significant events throughout the year; Christmas, birthdays, an annual trip. It's Elf on the Shelf at Christmastime and an Easter egg hunt at the cousins each year. 

These "big" traditions will produce cringe-worthy photo opportunities and a stressed-out Mum (or Dad) organising it all! 


The Little Stuff 

These are traditions that come about more naturally, and it might not be until five years down the track that you realise you've created traditions at all. Like, the Farmers Market most Sunday's, a fluffy after swimming every Wednesday morning, or Friday night takeaways in front of a movie.

It might be a jingle you sing in the bath each night or a handshake/cuddle/kiss routine before bed. 

Unlike the big stuff, these little traditions might not get passed down through generations. And they're changeable, i.e. the bath time jingle will be your norm for years until suddenly it's not. But just because these little traditions can change doesn't mean they're not a big deal. On the contrary, these activities will be the very things your children remember long after you've forgotten! 

The little traditions are unique to your family – so we're no help there – but the significant traditions can be a little more forced. 


Here are some ideas from the team: 



Every year on December 1st, my kids and I would don our Christmas hats, play Christmas carols and set up the tree. We had this photo taken 15 years ago. We have celebrated Christmas Eve with my extended family for more than 20 years and watched Carols by Candlelight eat a feast, and by 9 pm, all the kids would hurry home to be asleep in time for Santas arrival.



Our tradition is to have a morning dip on Christmas Day. We open a few presents then head down to the beach in the morning. 



My favourite from my childhood was getting to open one present on Christmas Eve. 



We have a compulsory family pic under the tree on Christmas morning and Christmas light walks as a family on the first week in December every year.



Every year Christian buys Christmas pyjamas, and everyone has to appear. You'll see from our photo above that it even includes the chickens! 



Every year, the kids get a Santa Photo, and I frame and display them, and they become part of the Christmas decorations. So it's cool to look back on all the photos over the years.  


Here are a few ideas from our Facebook and Instagram followers: 


  • Every Sunday, we make coffees, turn the music on, make breakfast together and dance.
  • I make a photo book for each child's birthday each year.
  • Christmas Eve is a sleepover in the lounge with Christmas PJs, popcorn, and Xmas movie.
  • (On how to make traditions stick): We talk about them lots - make it a cool thing, a big deal, and repeat!
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