• December 11, 2019

CENTERS PIECE: Setting new traditions - Odessa American: Centers’ Piece

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CENTERS PIECE: Setting new traditions

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Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 3:30 am

Family traditions are created throughout our life and help establish expectations for family gatherings, holidays, or special events as they arrive.

When we get into adulthood, we begin to set and establish our own family traditions. Perhaps for birthdays your parents threw a big party each year. As an adult, you may still hope for this or you may change your tradition for a birthday dinner with a small group instead.

Maybe a family tradition at Thanksgiving was having traditional Thanksgiving meal surrounded by your extended family. Maybe your family spent Christmas time talking and playing, having hot chocolate, reading a Christmas story, or going to see Christmas lights. Each of these traditions go with you as you enter into new chapters of your life, including marriage.

Newly married couples bring family traditions and individual perspectives into the unique environment of marriage. A newly married couple will begin to set new traditions as these seasons approach.

Setting new traditions like those mentioned above can cause some conflict when both people feel strongly about traditions of the past. When it comes to holiday traditions, this becomes even more evident.

One person may want to decorate for holidays while the other just wants lights on the house. One person may want to invite all of the extended family over for a holiday meal while the other may want a small family gathering. Establishing traditions as a new couple means finding a blend of old and new traditions. It means putting aside the notion that your way is the right one and working together to create something new.

One way to begin creating new traditions is to speak openly with one another about what you would like to do over the holidays. When my husband and I got married, we shared similar ideas about holidays but one item was different. I like to put the Christmas tree up as soon as Halloween is over.

For me, a Christmas tree represents the beginning of a beautiful and wonderful season. Early on, my husband and I discussed this and have found a happy medium of waiting until November begins to decorate for Christmas.

So how can you make your own holiday traditions? First, list out all ideas with one another and do not use mean or unkind words when a suggestion is made. Once your list is complete, choose your top three things you want to have in a tradition and have your spouse do the same.

Discuss each of your three choices and why this is important to you. Again, when sharing ideas or opinions do not put down each other’s ideas.

After discussing our thoughts, write out ideas that would allow these tradition pieces to be accomplished. For example, if having a fire in the fireplace is essential for the holidays, you want to gather firewood and clean out the chimney. Lastly, make a commitment that you will both put forth effort in creating this new tradition in your family.


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