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by Alannah Hurley

The birth of my daughter was the most beautiful thing I could have ever experienced. My little gift from heaven took her first breath on that day and now it is, and forever will be, one of my favorite occasions to celebrate. I celebrated joyfully on that day and have made it a tradition to celebrate on that day every year, no matter where we are, what we’re doing or how we feel about each other in the future. It was the day that I brought her into this life and the opportunity to do so was a mighty and exquisite miracle. A miracle that strengthened our family by allowing us to grow in size and in love.

It’s exciting to know that strengthening a family can start with something as simple as a celebration for a cherished occasion. A celebration can put smiles onto faces and foster warm memories that last a lifetime. Since the beginning of time people have been celebrating all kinds of things, and in all kinds of ways. Many diverse cultures, traditions and rituals have been developed because of these celebrations.

These various traditions and celebrations within cultures have numerous benefits that promote unity within families and happiness within individuals. Celebrating can provide motivation and acceptance, and offer a time for reflection and appreciation. Celebrating can also help to relieve stress, build energy and give families more opportunities to grow closer together through conversation and activities.

“Traditions can protect against violence and drug abuse. According to researchers, families that make rituals a priority are less likely to experience violence within the home or have members who become alcoholics.” “The demands of life pull us in many directions, but traditions provide family time during which we can reconnect. These periodic opportunities to reconnect help our families stay close despite the upheavals that occur in our lives.”

Rebecca Eanes, book author, and creator of the website www.positive-parents.org, wrote, “Traditions provide order in the chaos. They bring us back to one another. As we gather around the table or the campfire, we are reminded that life is short and children don’t stay children for long. When we laugh through game night or cram together in a car for a road trip, we are face to face with the ones who matter most. We are connected.”

Celebrations or traditions can be whatever your family wants or needs it to be for – birthdays, soccer games, weddings, losing a baby tooth, etc. Some traditions and cultural celebratory practices have passed through many generations and some are just now starting. Whatever the reason or occasion, what matters most is that you are celebrating together, creating positive memories, and cultivating an atmosphere of love and belonging.

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