When I was in my early twenties, I attended a Greek festival with a co-worker. Her parents immigrated to the US from Greece and brought with them all the family traditions they held dear. This festival was my first cultural diversity experience and I embraced it with open arms.
I was introduced to a host of tasty Mediterranean foods with names I couldn’t begin to pronounce, a few sips of ouzo followed by shouting out “Oompa!’ and line dancing to festive music into the wee hours of the night. I left the event with a deeper meaning of how family traditions bind one generation to the next; I wanted that for my future family.
Fast forward 30 years, three marriages, one daughter and three grand kids later. Had I succeeded in being both the catalyst and paste in cementing family traditions and values? Had I maintained significant memories to create a sense of acceptance; a feeling of purpose and belonging to something greater than ourselves?
These are tough questions; especially in light of the current mobility afforded us, the escalation of extended families and both parents trying to balance careers and family life. It’s a daunting task to incorporate family traditions into our ever hectic schedule. Each family generation faces different challenges, but it doesn’t change our need to have a sense of belonging and commitment to cultural and family traditions.
We need to recognize the importance of cultivating an environment that creates a cornerstone for our kids/grandkids to thrive and feel an essential part of the family. When we implement family traditions, we set the foundation for a sense of belonging. Knowing we belong to something great than our self is a cocoon that encompasses us when the outside world challenges our faith, beliefs, heritage and values.
Are you cultivating family traditions?
“So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other”.
– Romans 12: 5 –
“Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself”.
– Ephesians 2:20 –