By definition, a tradition is a custom that is passed down from generation to generation. You can probably think of some family traditions that you have looked forward to and participated in for as long as you can remember! Think Saturday morning pancakes, Christmas pajamas, special birthday celebrations, secret family recipes, etc.
Traditions are a way of helping us feel that we have a special place of belonging in our family unit. As you start your life together as newlyweds, you’ll be creating your own new family — so what better way to celebrate that sense of belonging and togetherness than establishing some new traditions?
How to establish a new tradition
Start by determining your common interests — are you foodies? Outdoor enthusiasts? Movie buffs? Travel bugs? As you cultivate a life together, you will likely start to get up close and personal with all the ways you’re different. Take the time as you begin your newly-married life to create traditions centered around the things that brought you together in the first place!
Next, notice the things that naturally bring you together and turn them into traditions. You don’t have to force it or come up with something specific. Traditions may fall into your lap as you get in the groove of doing life together — and that’s fantastic!
Maybe you wind up at the local farmer’s market together every Saturday. Maybe you take the dog for a walk outside together every evening after dinner. Maybe you wash dishes together while blasting oldies music and dancing like crazy people. Whatever it is you find yourselves doing together on a regular basis can totally be a tradition! And traditions that come about organically can often be the most meaningful.
A few ideas to get you started…
Looking for a bit of inspiration? Here are some simple ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
- Celebrate your wedding anniversary as the birthday of your family. The top tier of wedding cake is traditionally frozen and eaten on your first anniversary, but why not have a cake and candles and presents every year? This is also a fun way for you to celebrate the event with your kids in the future.
- Establish a nonnegotiable date night. As a newlywed, you might assume that you’ll go on dating each other forever, but life can quickly get in the way. Start your marriage out in an intentional way by continuing to have a standing date night on a regular basis — whether that’s once a week, twice a month, or whatever works in your schedule. You’ll be glad you made that a tradition early on!
- Recreate your first date every year. If you can’t revisit the exact location, get creative and set something up at home. Cook the same foods you ate and do the same activities. It doesn’t have to be exact, but it will be a special way to walk down memory lane together every year.
- Cook your favorite food together once a week. Taco Tuesday? Weekend brunch? Friday night homemade pizza? Sundae Sunday? Choose a favorite and add it to your weekly meal plan!
- Go canoeing or kayaking at the lake or on the river every 4th of July. Gazing up at fireworks is even better from the water!
- Play together outside in the snow each year as the first snow falls. Laugh like little kids and have a snowball fight, or go sledding!
Remember, you don’t have to label something as a tradition right away. If you try something and it isn’t a huge hit, let it go and move on! Traditions can be as simple or elaborate as you want, but the most important part is that they are YOURS. So soak up ideas and alter them to fit into the new life you’re building with your spouse. It’s a beautiful ride!