Sunday, September 4, 2011

{Guest Post} Sif Dal- At The Bottom Of The Garden

I am really excited today to have Sif Dal from At the Bottom Of The Garden guest posting for me. If you haven't 'met' Sif yet, please do pop on over and say hi to her! Her writing is amazing, and I always find myself nodding along to whatever she is saying, or wondering why I have never watched Dr Who.

Here is just a little bit about Sif-

I'm an almost 40 year old (but not quite!) mum to four busy boys aged between 2 and 12. I'm a writer, a perpetual student and just a little bit strange! I'm very interested in people and human development. I've got a degree in communications and postgraduate certificates and degrees in education and creative writing. I have also worked in Children's services. I write about life with a household full of children, human development and social issues, so my blog is very eclectic – I have a second blog about creative writing which is linked to my main blog, as well. I can be controversial. 

The Importance of Traditions.

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘tradition’?

Maybe you think of cultural traditions such as pinning money to a bride’s wedding dress? Or religious traditions such ‘first communion’?

Do you ever consider the purpose of traditions? Traditions not only keep people doing the same thing generation after generation, thereby retaining a particular take on culture, but they also serve the purpose of drawing people together into communities through the act of shared experiences and shared memories.

If one person in a community of starts talking about their experience with a particular tradition, you can pretty much guarantee that others will also start telling their stories, and before you know it people will be laughing and reminding each other of, ‘the time when’…

Traditions cause people to feel they belong.

Some traditions are neither cultural – in the broader sense – nor religious, but rather familial. I know a family who have Sunday dinner together on the first Sunday in October every year. Might not seem like a big thing, but now that the kids are all grown up and living their own lives, it actually means travelling from interstate, and on a few occasions, even from overseas to attend that once-a-year family dinner. This tradition says, ‘This is our family, our clan. We care about each other and want to celebrate our little community by getting together every year to catch up face-to-face’. The parents started this tradition when their children began moving out of the family home.

Maybe you had family traditions with your parents; the annual trip to a particular place, or passing on of a piece of jewelry for a special occasion?

In our family, we have established two new traditions just for our little family of six.

At Christmas, starting on December 1st week give the children a small bag each morning containing a lollie or chocolate and a few pieces of jigsaw puzzle. This is a tradition we’ve modified from my childhood in Iceland where children get a small gift each morning from the Christmas Lads (elf type creatures who are mischievous and sometimes a little scary). The jigsaw pieces were our idea. Every day the children get some jigsaw pieces and leading up to Christmas Eve (when we celebrate Christmas and open presents in the evening), they put the jigsaw together until it’s complete.

Another tradition we’ve established is a games tournament over the summer holidays. By games I mean board games (we’re not sporty!). We divide the family into two teams and every weekend – and sometimes during the week if the kids are bored – we play a few games. The winner of each game wins a point for their team and at the end of the holidays the team with the most points gets to choose a family activity for the last weekend of the holidays. We also have sportsmanship award – by secret vote – where the most supportive and gracious player is awarded a small gift just for them.

We have these traditions to build a sense of community in our little family – shared experiences and memories which bind us together in a positive way.

What traditions does your family have? Have you created any for your children?


  1. I think having traditions is so important to families. From the simplest things to the ones that have been passed on from generation to generation. We have friday night meals together as a tradition, one that had been happening for centuries. The time for family to get together, share, laugh and enjoy each others company.

    Bring board games back in I say! Great tradition! Great post sif :) x

  2. I love both your families traditions Sif! Great post. We don't have any traditions in our family, and nothing is really celebrated with much fanfare except the children's birthdays. I think after reading this I'm going to have to change that!!

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