Traditions for Today

New and time-honored traditions for families to share and enjoy for years to come.
Child Planting Tomatoes

Child Planting Tomatoes

Children enjoy helping out in the garden. This six-year-old girl is preparing to plant tomatoes in her vegetable garden.

Children enjoy helping out in the garden. This six-year-old girl is preparing to plant tomatoes in her vegetable garden.
Related To:

Maybe you remember the little things-your mother baking a luscious chocolate cake on every birthday. Or maybe you recall the big yearly reunions, with enough food to feed multiple generations.

"Traditions give us a sense of the past, present and future," says Robin Stern, PhD, a Columbia University psychologist. "They make us think about where we've come from and where we're going." Here's how a few families are creating traditions that strengthen the ties that bind them together.

Make it fun. One mother turned a cheerless chore into a cheerful tradition after looking at the autumn leaves burying her backyard. "I got tired of nagging everyone to rake," she said. So she gave her husband and kids some giant bags and asked who could bag the most leaves in two hours. "We got competitive and had a ball." They finished over baked apples straight from the oven, and as this grateful mom added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to everyone's plate, she suggested the family repeat the event every year. There were no arguments. Now the family picks one day during each long Thanksgiving weekend to schedule a yearly "leaf blast."

Set a standing date. Catherine, a mother of two, schedules one Friday night each month to bring the family together and watch a DVD. "It's become a tradition-and the only time I let them eat in the family room," she says. "The kids think it's really special." Another mother has turned Sunday night dinners into a family tradition by serving gourmet meals on her best china, treating her family like royalty.

Let your love show. Rachel in Connecticut also makes a tradition of Sunday suppers, employing a centuries-old Israeli custom that celebrates the strength family members bring to each other. While she prepares the meal, she cuts a six-inch fabric square for everyone who's there. In the middle of each square she puts a half-teaspoon of whichever spices dominate the dinner; then she ties each piece of fabric into tiny bundles.

During the ebb and flow of the week, these precious little bundles serve as reminders of the love and support all family members have at home.

Courtesy of Right@Home™

Next Up

21 Easy Acts of Kindness to Do With Kids

Get kids involved in spreading kindness and joy for Random Acts of Kindness Day with these fun and easy ideas from HGTV.com.

10 Creative Ideas to Keep Kids Busy All Summer Long

For when those lazy days of summer start to feel a little too lazy.

Emeril Gets the Whole Family Cooking

Learn some recipes anyone in the family can make from Emeril Lagasse.

Break a Leg! DIY Doorway Puppet Theater

Give your kids a taste of the spotlight without leaving home.

Science for Kids: 2 Ways to Make a Cloud in a Jar

Amaze your kids while teaching them how clouds form in the atmosphere with this easy experiment.

22 Fun Kids' Crafts for Cold Winter Days

Beat cabin fever with creativity.

Pretzel and Fruit Kabobs

This kid-friendly recipe is great for adults too.

Masquerade Masks Made for Kids

What is a circus without some flair? Learn to create a papier-mache mask for your follies.

21 Creative Lunchbox Ideas Your Kids Will Love

We help you think outside the (lunch)box.

Kid-Friendly Craft Project: Salad Spinner Art

Get crafty with paint and a salad spinner and make colorful works of art with your little ones. Spin art is perhaps the most fun, well-contained type of mess that you can make — even toddlers can easily participate. Consider this activity on a rainy day or during arts and crafts at an outdoor summer camp.

On TV

Island Life

6:30am | 5:30c

Island Life

7am | 6c

Island Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Home Town

8am | 7c

Home Town

9am | 8c

Home Town

10am | 9c

Home Town

11am | 10c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Love It or List It

8pm | 7c

Hidden Potential

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Hidden Potential

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c
2am | 1c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.