Are Today's Families too Modern for Family Traditions?
By Jennifer Kirkpatrick
Family traditions are as old as the family itself. They represent a comforting routine that many of us look forward to year after year. But in the age of scheduling conflicts and commercialism have families become too modern for family traditions?
Luckily, the answer is no.
A recent survey of more than 200 parents showed that family traditions are still an important part of the holidays. In all, 61% of respondents said that family traditions are "very important in their family, and another 35% said they are somewhat important. Only 4% considered family traditions unimportant in their current families.
The biggest reason for this seems to be the emphasis placed on family traditions while growing up. As the Generation Xers now start families of their own, they are reminded of the family traditions they shared with their parents and want to create similar memories for their children. In fact, the majority (74%) have even started new family traditions since their children were born.
In the words of one mom - "My husband and I want our children to experience some of the same family traditions we grew up with, that created so many cherished memories for us. We both have memories of Santa visiting our house at Christmas, it's nice to think that our sons will be able to have those memories as well."
When asked the single most important reason that they practice family traditions, 64% said it was to create special memories for their children, 22% said to bring the family closer together, 9% said because they enjoy them so much and 4% want to give their children a connection to past generations. Only 1% of respondents did not practice any family traditions.
This holiday season the traditions celebrated in each family are as individual as the families themselves. But many of the old favorites from times gone by remain popular. Visiting family and friends, decorating a Christmas tree together and having a large family meal are all important to the majority of respondents. Other popular traditions that are a result of our modern times are driving around the neighbourhood looking at Christmas lights and watching a favorite Christmas movie together.
It seems that no matter how hectic our lives get, most families still take time to slow down and enjoy the holidays. Regardless of religion or belief systems, the family remains an important part of our culture. Much of the holiday season may seem to focus on gift giving and expensive decorations, but at heart it really does remain a time for family.
One mom said it best - "I think people's lives are becoming increasingly busy and it's important to have some family traditions that you can count on being the same regardless of how crazy life gets."
About The Author
Jennifer Kirkpatrick is the owner of the online baby store, Pipsqueak Boutique.