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Traditions Make Us, Us

by Bonnie Neugebauer and Nancy Rosenow
March/April 2017
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/traditions-make-us-us/5023454/

Hands. Celebrating traditions makes us think of hands. The transfer of objects and ideas, hand to hand. Building of community, hands together. Preservation of culture and story, one hand to another. Celebration, hands clapping. Receiving, hands open. We create traditions to remember and we celebrate traditions in recognition of who and where we are. In the lives of children, families, and staff in early childhood programs, traditions create identity and belonging. They make us feel safe, known, connected — in good hands.

Traditions Have Purpose

When life feels uncertain, traditions can provide a sense of security and connection. They ground us in history and remind us of what stays solid while the sands of change shift around us. Traditions connect past, present, and future so we can all remember the path behind us and imagine the path ahead. In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin writes that traditions “mark the passage of time in a happy way. They provide a sense of anticipation, security, and continuity…. They provide connection and predictability, which people — especially children — crave.” On the other hand, Rubin cautions that because traditions often involve a fair amount of work to carry out, “they are a potential source of guilt, resentment, ...

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