What activity does your family enjoy doing together? What family pastime has grown to be a tradition? When the family gets together, you are either participating in it or telling stories about it. For some families it is music, for others it is board games, and for many a game of touch football. For my family, it is a trip to the zoo.
The zoo trips started when we kids were small. Mom and Dad thought it would be good for us to visit a zoo to learn about exotic animals during one vacation. Over the years, those zoo visits often turned out to be the highlight of the trip. When a quality zoo was built within forty-five minutes of home, Mom and Dad immediately bought season tickets. With the exception of the three winter months, any time out-of-town family visit for two or three days, you can bet one of those days will be spent at the zoo–if Mom has anything to say about it.
So what is the big deal about having a traditional family activity? Family members can interact in a safe setting–one which they are experiencing together and is fun. It is less likely that a family disagreement will arise as it is something that has a rhythm and rules of behavior all its own. It is a way to integrate new family members into the clan. They can be “warned” ahead of time about what to expect. During the activity they can be initiated through the telling of family stories and laughter. Then on the way home, or over a meal, they can join in the storytelling. And before long the new member feels like a part of the family.
What are you doing in your family to build traditions that make family gatherings feel warm, safe, and inviting?
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1