Small rituals are what your kids will cherish

Small rituals are what your kids will cherish

It is the Winter Holidays. It is fun and exciting for our kids and families. And there are so many different ways of celebrating.

When my kids were younger, I was way too tired to do big things, like parties or special trips or even day long adventures for holiday fun. So I did small stuff.

We went and cut a tree from a farm down the street.

We lit as many candles as we could in the house on solstice.

We drew pictures for gifts.

We drove around to look at lights.

We had special decorations we put up (easy ones I promise!)

And what is so amazing, is that my kids, now 8 and 10, still want to do those simple things.  

Occasionally, we do something bigger and they love it, but the winter would not be the same without all of these small little rituals. These are what they identify as being part of our family. And what a relief it was to realize this. To know that even though I had my limits when they were younger, the small things done each year are what they cherish.

So I start thinking back to what made me love my family, made me feel part of something special. And I think of the Pink Pig we would ride (it was a little train) every year around Thanksgiving. I remember the caroling around our neighborhood. I remember waiting on Christmas morning for my dad to get the picture before we could make a run for the abundance of that morning. I remember sitting down to eat as a family. I remember the small things.

And it turns out there is research to back up the importance of these small rituals. Family specialist and sociologist publish papers on just this. It doesn’t take much to help your child have a feeling of belonging and being part of something special. It just takes doing it with care and love over and over again.

Share your different rituals, big or small, for this time of the year.