Traditions are funny things. Some we start consciously and on purpose and others are just habits that become so important to us that we keep them going. The beauty of them is that they can be little things like watching the same movie each Christmas or something much bigger like a weekend away each year with friends you’ve known forever. It might seem silly to deliberately start a tradition rather than letting it form organically, but sometimes the best way to make sure that you’re making the most of your time together is to deliberately start something that you want to continue for a long time to come.
What you’ll need:
- A Pen and Paper for writing your tradition ideas down on
- People to share the tradition with could be friends or family or another group
- A Time Frame that you will complete the tradition in could be a holiday like Christmas or Easter or even just meeting every Winter or a Sporting Event like a running race
- Props or Location to make the tradition happen could be as small as cereal or as big as a booking out a big beach house or organising hotel reservations
- Start by brainstorming traditions that you might like to create. This is something that you could do collectively as a group or something you could do solo and submit to the group for discussion later. If you choose to start with this on your own it might be a good idea to have a few options for people to choose from, but if you’re the real organiser of the group, you might be able to just propose it once you have all the research done.
- Check it over with the people you would like to be part of the tradition. If it’s simple and small like having a special cereal on Easter morning it might not require as much planning as say a yearly beach trip to Hawaii or all heading to the one place for a race weekend.
- Get people excited and involve them in the planning as much as they want to be. For bigger traditions particularly, this is essential. You want everyone to feel included and like it’s going to be a great memory making experience for all of you.
- Think about the time frame for your tradition. If it’s a holiday, then the dates are set for you, but if you’re planning a getaway or a monthly book club then choosing dates (or evenings) that work well for the most people is often the best way to ensure everyone feels welcome and included.
- Now it’s time to actually do the planning for the tradition. What will you need to purchase to make it happen? Do you need flights and accommodation? Will you do a group booking or arrive separately? Do they stock the ingredients you need in your local supermarket or will you need to special order? Can you easily get copies of the books for your book club to read? Thinking of these ahead of time will really help the transition into the first time you make the tradition a reality. It will also help you repeat it in future and really a tradition needs to be more than just a once off!
- The final step might take some time before it actually happens, but it may be the most important: Actually making the tradition happen! Take that trip, start that book club or enjoy your delicious Christmas breakfast together!
It may not turn out just as you picture it in your head, but hopefully it’s the beginning of something that becomes a ‘must do’ in your life. It’s a chance to create some wonderfully fun memories from all the things that go right and sometimes even the things that go a little bit pear-shaped. Sometimes consciously deciding to have more fun sets a precedent that spills over into our everyday lives, and that can be a wonderful thing.
Do you have a tradition that you started on purpose? Do you have one that you’d love to start?