#FBF: Co-op Family Traditions and Rituals

Posted on Dec 20, 2017 | 0 comments

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Our families are currently sharing their family traditions and rituals in their classrooms so now is a great time for us to flash back to our past blog post all about the importance of traditions and rituals and what to keep in mind when planning a new or old tradition/ritual.

Our staff has placed an importance on developing traditions in the home. Traditions are family-specific as opposed to culturally-specific and are different than celebrations because they are generally more organized and occur regularly though maybe not annually. In celebrating traditions, the family is able to express their values and beliefs. Traditions typically connect families to previous generations. Rituals are broader. Family rituals include traditions, holidays or rites of passage within cultural, religious, or ethnic groups, and routines which show us the unique interactions of the family unit.

Every fall, after the Thanksgiving holiday, our families share their traditions or rituals with their classes. Our staff has placed an importance on developing traditions in the home. Traditions are family-specific as opposed to culturally-specific and are different than celebrations because they are generally more organized and occur regularly though maybe not annually. In celebrating traditions, the family is able to express their values and beliefs. Traditions typically connect families to previous generations. Rituals are broader. Family rituals include traditions, holidays or rites of passage within cultural, religious, or ethnic groups, and routines which show us the unique interactions of the family unit.

Learning to appreciate differences is an important part of the school experience, and all children feel more welcome in school when the classroom reflects their cultures and traditions. Sharing our cultures with our children’s classmates will benefit all of the children. There is so much to learn during these very early years than what a single teacher can present to the children. The learning experience is so much richer when each family shares stories, music, and conversations. This is why at the Co-op we encourage parents to share their family culture and experiences with the class through traditions and rituals.

When planning a new or old tradition/ritual keep the following in mind:

  • Traditions don’t have to be old.
  • Expect resistance from some family members.
  • Traditions/rituals provide stability.
  • Must be satisfying to all.
  • They need not be elaborate.
  • Traditions/rituals help us focus on what is important.
  • There are inevitable roadblocks to establishing traditions/rituals.

Because we present these at the holidays, you will notice that many of these are holiday-themed, though some are not. Here are some traditions and rituals that have been shared at the Co-op this year:

Salt dough ornaments

Making up silly holiday songs

making songs

Listening to holiday music

Candlelit dinner with jazz music every night

Making paper gift boxes

Reading the Nutcracker

Photo booth pictures at the same time each year

Making ornaments

Advent Calendar

Making a pastry called “banitsa” from Bulgaria

pastry

Elf on the Shelf

Making ornaments as a family while listening to Christmas music and drinking hot cocoa

Lighting a Menorah

Making cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve

Collecting Nutcrackers

Collecting Dancing Snowmen

snowmen

Making Gingerbread houses

Eating cinnamon rolls while listening to Christmas music on Christmas morning

Singing Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus and a birthday cake. Also having Dance Parties

dance

Visiting the Polar Express train to see Santa and drinking hot chocolate

Making Christmas Pudding

Stockings filled with gifts and Silly String followed by a “fight”

Collect nature items from trips to keep the memory

nature items

Eating tamales for breakfast on Christmas morning

Taking a winter walk

Donating items

What traditions or rituals do you celebrate throughout the year? Which ones are your favorite? Which ones do or did your children enjoy? We’d love to know in the comments below!