What are your favorite childhood traditions? Most of us would answer with the simplest traditions, not the more elaborate ones. Your children are no different – they will remember the simple family traditions that you create for them, whether old or new traditions.
Finally, with the arrival of the cooler weather of autumn, we begin observing an interesting collection of traditions here on the farm. We make quite a production of the first fire in the fireplace, enjoying the beauty of the fire and using the occasion to thank everyone for their labors of cutting and splitting the firewood for the coming winter. We also begin our autumn weekend sky-watching parties around large campfires. We watch for stars and planets and satellites, and enjoy the Milky Way as it spreads out across the dark country sky. Family and friends come from all around the country to join this endeavor, and while we don’t work out ALL of the problems of the world, everyone seems to benefit from the time spent together.
Autumn, the list-making begins for the projects that we enjoy—making gifts, preparing special treats that will keep in the freezer, and coming up with ideas to bless others and meet their needs. From making blankets for the abused children’s shelter to helping stock the local food bank, there have been so many great service projects that started on autumn evenings around the fire.
As we approach this new season, I know that there are plenty of decorating traditions that are observed in American homes. With the start of autumn, I make sure that we have chrysanthemums on the front steps. After spending their season of blooming on the steps, they are planted in my “Love Garden” that I can see year-round from the kitchen window. Dad collects several bales of hay, some corn stalks, and a few pumpkins and gourds to make a fall decoration by the driveway—”Dad’s masterpiece”, as the kids call it.
Why are traditions important?
- They help families come together
- They remind us of times together in the past
- They give children a sense of security and predictability
- They help our values and character span generations
- They remind families that love and continuity go hand in hand
- Traditions can be old and many are new
- Traditions give children something to anticipate, a perspective on time passing by
- We created our family traditions when our children were very young, building them up as time went on. We lived far from family and grandparents, and we wanted our children to have family traditions to treasure and savor in the years ahead.
Autumn is a great time to kick off a few new traditions in your own family. From autumn star-watching to s’mores over a campfire—the possibilities are there, waiting!