Entering your senior years is a time of big change. Retirement beckons, families are getting older and moving on, you may even relocate yourself. It can be a turbulent time and that’s why traditions, both old and new can be very important.
Traditions are a way of anchoring us to a time and a place, and they are the foundation of a strong family bond.
Certain traditions such as you baking the Thanksgiving turkey while your daughter lays the table and the grandkids watch the football have likely been in your family for a good few decades now but once you are in the senior years, some of these things may have to change.
It may not be as easy for you to do the cooking and it may be easier for your children to take over your position. These traditions can be tough to let go of and on the first run especially, they can feel particularly difficult.
Just because these traditions have to change though, it doesn’t mean that the dynamic in the family is any different and your senior years actually present you with a golden opportunity to make some new family traditions.
As you get older, you will find you have a lot more free time than you have done previously and this can allow you to get creative and help start some new traditions that can be kept in the family for the next couple of decades or more.
The change in traditions is an essential part of your family’s development and there are a lot of benefits to it in your older years.
Traditions are a huge part of the holiday season and that is definitely the ideal time to get a little bit creative and create fun and new holiday traditions. If you have grandchildren, this can be the perfect time to start a new tradition with them.
Here are some ideas for new holiday traditions that you could create.
- Crafts: Making some sort of holiday-themed crafts is always a nice idea. Pumpkin carving at Halloween or creating wooden turkeys for the table at Christmas are both activities that you and the rest of the family are likely to enjoy.
- Making gifts: Given that, you will have a lot more spare time than normal, you can get creative and make your family gifts for birthdays and Christmases instead of going out to buy them. Making a person a gift is so much more personal and if you make a different variation on the same gift each year, it will quickly become something that the rest of the family will look forward to.
- Decorations: The holidays are a happy time and as one of the older members of the family, you will want to make all of the effort to make sure the younger generation gets as much out of the holidays as possible. Decorating your house for Halloween or Christmas, or even both of them, will provide the children with a happy memory for years to come and it will also make your house a special place for them to visit during this time period.
One of the powers of forming a good tradition is that it helps us form strong bonds and a sense of place in our community or family.
For children, this is especially important as they will grow to associate people with certain traditions. Creating new traditions and creating a sense of consistency around certain periods of the year will help children feel more connected to you.
It can also be hugely beneficial when it comes to building bonds in your community. If you host an annual event or you regularly decorate your house for a certain holiday, then you will quickly become associated with that in your community. Not only will this help you will build ties with your community but it will also give you a sense of purpose and belonging.
Once we hit our senior years, we begin to realize what is really important in life and we have more time to spend making memories with our friends and families.
These new traditions, whether it be a new family vacation or a holiday focused tradition provide us with happy memories into our later years and will also give our grandchildren many happy memories of their time with us in years to come. If everything goes well, these traditions will also be passed down the generations and your grandchildren will continue to pass them on to their grandchildren.
Taking photos or videos is very important during these times, whether it is on a camera or a suitable phone for seniors, you will want to make sure you preserve the moments for years to come.
Security and consistency
As we get older, a lot of things in our lives begin to change. We may not be as active as we once were and our health is no longer going to be in the peak condition it was for most of our lives.
Traditions can help provide us with a constant in our lives. They take away the feeling of stress and provide us with a sense of consistency and routine.
Creating new traditions helps take this one step further and also provides you with a sense of control. If you are an active participant in the new tradition, as opposed to a bystander in an old one, then this will help you feel like an active member of your family or community.
Retirement can also leave a gaping hole in our lives where our work once was. Our bodies adjust to our work schedules and calendars and some people can struggle without them. Days and weeks can slowly begin to merge into one another and this can cause us to feel a little bit down or depressed. Traditions, especially those we’ve created ourselves, can help buck this trend and help provide our lives with a sense of routine. They also provide us with something exciting to look forward to and to plan.