I love to accessorize with games and small trinkets that spark people’s curiosity. In my home, I have a Jonathan Adler Lucite tic-tac-toe game on a side table and a bowl of vintage dominos on my coffee table. This screams “Stay a while!” I have used anything from 8 balls and tops to playing cards and backgammon sets.
Accessorizing with games not your style? No worries, add some interesting accessories that invite people to explore your home. Little antiques, sentimental items, or pieces created by artists, mixed with interesting books, create the same result. I have used everything from antique prayer books and gumball machines filled with rustic gems to quirky sculptures.
Sometimes I get asked why I don’t just focus on the same “tips and tricks” other designers focus on. Like, “5 Ways to Decorate your Mantle” or “My top 3 Tree Skirt Picks for this Season.” Now, while I do focus on those things occasionally and blast out tips on my other social platforms, I like to use my newsletter to get a little deeper with you.
Our homes can have such an emotional, physical, and spiritual impact on us and our family. And I think that’s worth examining. The décor and design aspects are HUGELY important, but I want to make sure I also touch on our hearts and the essence of what truly makes a home – which is you and your family. So, this year I want to encourage you to create a brand-new tradition or update an old tradition that you have let fall to the wayside because it wasn’t working for you.
First, let’s define what a tradition is…
The dictionary defines it as “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.” But I also like how Megan Cox, the author of The Book of New Family Traditions, describes it: “…any activity you purposely repeat together as a family that includes heightened attentiveness and something extra that lifts it above the ordinary ruts.”
That means, traditions, when done with love and attentiveness, can create a sense of magic and depth to our lives.
So why are traditions so important? What do they do?
They provide a sense of identity – Traditions tell the story of the family. Traditions can teach us where we come from and give us insight into our culture. Traditions can also serve as reminders of events and situations that helped shape a family. Repeating and observing these traditions then make us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves.
They strengthen a family connection – Research shows that families that engage in traditions have stronger bonds and connection than families that don’t. They give us comfort and strength because they remind us that we are not alone. Not only do they connect us to our immediate family, they also connect us to past generations.
They teach values – This one is my favorite! Whether the traditions are religious or secular in nature, they can be used to help teach and reinforce values in a very ninja way!
So, how do we create traditions?
Just like my philosophy behind decorating your home – the philosophy behind creating traditions is the same. You must start with your “WHY.” What is the deeper need behind creating this tradition? Is it teaching or reinforcing a value? Is it to create connection and unity in your home? Do you want to make your family feel special or add a sense of wonder and magic to help them have memories? Getting clear on your intention BEHIND the tradition will ensure it is meaningful. Not just a “thing.”
Okay, you might be wondering, what does all of this have to do with décor. EVERYTHING! Because you can use your home and your décor to set the stage for these traditions. In my Thoughtful Nesting course, I discuss the importance of making décor decisions based on these deeper needs. This allows you to set your home up to allow these emotional needs, like beautiful traditions, to happen easily and more frequently!