The Link Between Traditions and Happiness

This weekend marked the beginning of my family’s holiday season traditions beginning. Each year in October my parents and siblings and their families who are in the area all come together and we go to a place called Rowley’s Red Barn where we start by enjoying their homemade donuts and apple cider for breakfast and then we climb onto a hayride pulled by a tractor which takes us out to the pumpkin patch where the kids can pick their pumpkins right off the vine. We enjoy the activities at the Barn and then grab lunch together. It’s something we have done since my kids were really little and even though they are now grown adults they look forward to it every year. It is one of their favorite traditions and it also marks the beginning of all our fall family holiday traditions.

Traditions have always been important in my life. As a child my family moved to many times to many different states with my Father’s career, which made the family traditions in my life even more meaningful and valuable to me. Traditions represented security and consistency for and I treasured the fact that those treasured traditions stayed the same, even when everything else in my life kept changing.

As I became an adult I wondered if it was just me and my siblings that traditions mattered to because of moving so much, but when I had two children of my own I found that these traditions seemed to matter equally to them, even though they didn’t move around like I had. The traditions gave my kids that same security and consistency that all kids long for and they continue to give our family those same benefits regardless of how old we are.

If you haven’t made family traditions a priority in the past, it is never too late to start! And what better time of year to start those than Fall when we have so many fun holidays ahead of us! I realize that at times carrying out family traditions can feel like a burden, especially when we are going through stressful times in our lives, but it is worth our effort and the research by psychologists backs that up.

Psychologists have linked family traditions and routine family rituals with overall family happiness, increased emotional well-being, lower anxiety levels, higher academic success, and higher marriage satisfaction. Could it be any clearer that the return on investment for putting in the effort to carry out traditions with our kids and our families is well worth it?!  It’s worth it!!!

Below are some fun pics from our Fall family tradition:


My cute Mom and Dad


Ashley excited for homemade Donuts!


Taking a hayride to the pumpkin patch


Mini tractor racing



Have a great day everyone!

~Amy Rees Anderson

1 Comment

  • Jane says:

    My family growing up had no traditions. My family now has traditions and they are important to us. I hope we can continue them as you have.

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