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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

June 4, 2018 - 4:21pm -- Anonymous

I’m so excited to have Sara Meeks on board with Family and Consumer Sciences to help out with some programming.  You will be seeing Sara at some meetings and doing some educational programming throughout the county, please stop and introduce yourself to her.  She offered to share her insights with summer and family relationships, I hope you will enjoy her writing!

As the school year ends and summer begins, pause for a moment and reflect upon your routines and traditions. Routine and tradition offer us a dependable anchor - a sense of security and belonging in our ever-changing world. Summer is often a time in which we tend to make lasting memories. We may gather with family, head to camp, or plan a vacation. The routines and traditions we hold and create help define who we are and what is important to us.

I fondly remember the summers of my childhood spent with my grandparents planting a garden and picking berries together. I cherish those memories, even more so now that my grandparents are no longer with us. The time I spent with my family instilled values in me that I hold to this day. It gave my family a chance to grow closer, build relationships, and pass on stories and history.

It can be challenging to maintain traditions in our world today. We are surrounded by distractions and weighed down by busy schedules, but this makes preserving tradition more important than ever. Tradition is meant to be dependable; an anchor amid the business of daily life. It gives us the opportunity to slow down and create new memories. It helps us build relationships, which binds us together and give us a sense of community.

Inevitably, our lives change as time passes. But as change occurs, traditions remain a constant. The tradition itself may look a little different over time, and that’s okay. High expectations for traditions can create tension instead of build relationship, so keep in mind that flexibility is important. Tradition doesn’t fit into a specific outline. It can be as simple as eating an evening snack with family out on the porch, or as grand as a large celebration at the dining table dressed in your Sunday best. Traditions can be held with family, friends, your community, and even by yourself.

If you don’t currently have a tradition to uphold, consider creating one. Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started:

Snack time - Gather family and friends to help make the snack. Easy snacks include fresh fruits and vegetables with dip. Or for a cool summer treat make frozen fruit pops by mixing yogurt with chopped fruit. Portion the mixture into small paper cups with a spoon or popsicle stick inserted into the middle – freeze and enjoy!

Evening walk – Walking is good for your health and allows time to enjoy nature and the fresh air.  This activity can be done alone or with others.  With others, it creates the opportunity to talk about your day.

Game or movie night – Playing cards or board games and watching movies together at home is a fun and inexpensive way to spend time with family and friends.

Special weekend breakfast or pizza night – Sharing a meal can help us bond. Make it extra special once a week or once a month by getting together with family or friends and having a special meal together. Celebrate the small things, the big things, or for no reason at all!

The bottom line is; traditions anchor us to what is most important. Pausing for a tradition allows us to celebrate life’s special moments and make memories that will last a lifetime.