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Why Family Action is focusing on Christmas traditions for families this year

12 November 2021

It’s ironic, but this Christmas we’re doing something different by focusing on things that stay the same. We are exploring the comfort Christmas can bring through well-worn traditions that help us relax and spend time with loved ones, providing the stability we crave now more than ever. 

There is good reason to celebrate tradition and prioritise quality time together as a family. Traditions can make us happier research indicates that families who engage in collective traditions feel closer and enjoy the season more. From our Early Years work with children we know how important attachment is within families. The development of attachment between children and their parents in early childhood often goes on to influence the quality of the relationships they go on to have throughout their lives. We also know that structure is vitally important for young children and teens alike. Family cohesion during our teenage years is linked to lower depression among adults. Traditions are so important and useful precisely because they support us in developing attachment and building safe, familiar, cohesive, stable structures that help to strengthen our bonds as families. 

Traditions are so important and useful precisely because they support us in developing attachment and building safe, familiar, cohesive, stable structures that help to strengthen our bonds as families. 

It can be tempting in our fast-paced, often achievement-based society to focus on the essentials such as work, homework and study and neglect time spent together as a family doing activities or just enjoying each other’s company. However, studies show that quality family time is far from frivolous and may do more to support our children’s educational aspirations than study itself.  Many of the Christmas traditions we feature in our Christmas calendar involve play – whether that’s through board games, competitions or family challenges – which we also know through our services is an important element involved in developing our children’s socialisation and even literacy. And, of course, engaging in a little play isn’t bad for us adults either. 

We have created a Make Theirs Magic Christmas calendar to help families celebrate festive family traditions and prioritise time with loved ones. It is packed full of simple and affordable Christmas tradition ideas to help families enjoy some of the things that matter this festive season. Our calendar is a little different in that it covers all 31 days of December – all the way past Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve to help spread Christmas magic across the whole festive season (and until the kinds go back to school!) 

We believe that every family deserves a happy Christmas – it’s what our ‘Make Theirs Magic’ campaign is all about. Our Christmas calendar includes ways to give back to your community and find joy and satisfaction as a family in making new traditions rooted in kindness and understanding. It features our Toy Appeal, which is now in its 12th year and provides toys to families who may not be able to afford them otherwise. In the calendar pack, and in further blog articles, we also provide practical guidance and support for tackling Christmas pressures and our free FamilyLine service is available over the Christmas period to support families who are struggling and need support, information about any aspect of family life or just need a listening ear. 

So, it’s with seasonal good cheer that we encourage you to download our free Make Theirs Magic Christmas Calendar, and start building new traditions for the future now. Together we can make Christmas more magical for us all.