kidCLANS Podcast
kidCLANS #6 Weaving the Fabric of Family: Creating Cherished Memories for Generations

kidCLANS #6 Weaving the Fabric of Family: Creating Cherished Memories for Generations

Do you have specific traditions that have created lasting memories in your family?
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Hello, hello, HELLO!

This is your host, Jaime Buckley, and this is the kidCLANS podcast, Episode 6…

I’m on fire this month of August 2023 — because my mind is on family TRADITIONS! How important they are, what they do for our families, BOTH yours and mine…and today…How we can make LASTING MEMORIES through traditions.

The more I talked about this to my own family, the subject of creating lasting memories and a sense of nostalgia came up. I think it was due to the example I gave last time about Candy Week and spending time with Grandma,…a wonderful person to have around for a special week each year in December.

Good news is, we get her ALL the time now, because she’s moved in =) WooHOO for us — we’ve been trying to get her to move in for almost 10 years now…

Do you have specific traditions that have created lasting memories in your family?

…and I’m talking about GOOD memories by the way, not like Uncle Buck drunk under the Christmas tree, making it impossible to get the presents out for the kids kinda memories.

Well I have FIVE specific examples I’d like to suggest of how family traditions can contribute to creating lasting memories, strengthen bonds between family members, and evoke a sense of nostalgia. READY?

Annual Family Reunion:

Holding an annual family reunion can bring together extended family members from various generations. This tradition provides an opportunity for relatives to reconnect, share stories, and create lasting memories through activities, games, and shared meals.

For the Buckley’s it used to be the Tupai family reunion. My father in law would gather all of us every year for decades at a vacation spot called Cherry Hills in Farmington, Utah. We’d camp from Wednesday until Sunday, laughing, cooking, swimming, and on Friday night we did family Ice Cream. We’d go to the creamery shop, have delicious ice cream, maybe a fresh slice of pie, and then all day Saturday, it was the water park, miniature golf and the arcade!

Over time, we all built strong bonds. It was common ground where we developed a sense of belonging to a larger family unit, the Tupa’i family. This resulted in cherished memories and a sense of nostalgia during future reunions, which kept going for decades.

Holiday Decorating and Baking:

Engaging in the tradition of decorating the home for holidays, like Christmas or Halloween, and baking special treats together can foster togetherness. Family members collaborate on creative projects, share laughter, and enjoy the fruits of their labor. As I mentioned before, the Buckley’s have Candy Week. That’s when the whole family gets together with Grandma and makes hand-crafted delectables to give away to loved ones and friends during Christmas.

The scent of freshly baked cookies or the sight of twinkling lights triggers nostalgic feelings in all of us! Heck, even my oldest son, Evan, not,…uhhhh, known for his emotional softness (shall we say) is a center of joy for the Holidays. He has always been the #1 champion for gathering the family for food, fun, and being together over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Movie or Game Nights:

Establishing a regular movie or game night can become a cherished family tradition. Gathering around for a favorite movie or engaging in friendly competition with board games encourages interaction and bonding. These shared experiences become treasured memories, and even as family members grow older, they recall the laughter and enjoyment of these special nights.

This is HUGE for us. We are not only movie junkies, but love interactive games. Board games, card games, and most of us, except for my wife, enjoy TTRPG’s (Table Top Role Playing Games).

Our biggest favorite, I think we would all agree, or come close, would be ‘Hand and Foot’. If you haven’t heard of this game or played, I highly recommend it if you can get at least 6 players. I’ll leave a link in the show notes on the rules and how to play.

The key here is choosing a game that requires a large amount of communication and interaction. Things that get you to work together, like Pandemic, creates a fun teamwork experience, where you share quite an array of emotions. The payoff of those games are huge, and that’s why my son’s and I love ‘home-brew’ RPG’s.

The most commonly known RPG I can think of is Dungeons and Dragons, but we opt not to play that particular brand or style. In our house, we have a standing rule that you don’t get to be a bad guy. We choose to be the heroes, and so our game play reflects that. Funny thing is — people who are forcefully against D&D will let their kids join our game play, because they know how we feel about the rules of games.

If you want to close the generational gap, have tons of laughter and memories you’ll kids, regardless of age will share with you for years to come, look into RPG’s. It’s an ACE up your sleeve, trust me on that.

Vacation Rituals:

Whether it's an annual beach trip or a cabin getaway, vacation rituals provide opportunities for family members to unwind and connect in a different environment. Planning activities together, sharing meals, and exploring new places create unique memories. Over time, revisiting these vacation spots or recalling funny incidents from past trips can evoke a strong sense of nostalgia and shared history.

For us, it’s usually camping, but for the first time ever, we decided to go to Oregon this year as a collective family. We packed up our lives and the billion and four kids, crammed them into the caravan and drove over 18 hours through the snow storms in February to experience…well,…one of the best vacations we’ve ever had.

Rented two homes on the coast, one block from the beach. It rained every day we were there and except for not being able to experience deep sea fishing, it was the best time together that I can recall. The adventure then turned to experiencing foods, drinks, and driving up and down the coast for adventures.

We slid hundreds of feet into the mine shafts to see the sea lion caves. We crawls through hundreds of thousands of tons of rocks to find a hidden beach…only to run away less than five minutes later with children slung over shoulders because of a rising tide!

We ate fresh fish, crab, sushi of all sorts, and then scrounged through a horde of pirate treasure to bring home items we’d treasure for a lifetime.

For me, the best time was waking up to the sun rising over the ocean, filling a beautiful room, where I could snuggle with the love of my life of 33 years.

…even my four year old asks me at least once a month, "Daddy, when are we going back to our house in Oregon? I miss it."

Me too, sweetie. Me too.

Storytelling and Family Tales:

This is where Buckley’s shine.

I’m not sure if we are actually skilled at storytelling, or we’re full of crap — but either way, it works.

Sharing family stories, anecdotes, and traditions passed down through generations can create a sense of continuity and connection. These storytelling sessions often happen during gatherings or around special occasions. Hearing tales of ancestors, significant events, and past experiences fosters a deeper understanding of one's heritage and family history, fostering a nostalgic appreciation for one's roots.

My grandkids love to hear about all the antics I got up to when I was younger. Some of my favorites are about getting food for my wife when she was expecting one of our children — and I’ll share some of these in a future podcast — but I had the ability to get any restaurant to open and make me food for my wife.

My kids loved going with me on those adventures late at night.

Here’s the key — family traditions such as annual reunions, holiday decorating, movie or game nights, vacation rituals, and storytelling sessions provide meaningful opportunities for family members to bond, create lasting memories, and develop a sense of nostalgia. These shared experiences contribute to the fabric of family life, fostering a strong sense of connection and unity across generations.

Before I go, I’d like to make FIVE suggestions of how to create shared experiences, rituals, and traditions to foster emotional connections, trust, and support within your family.

1) Family Mealtime: Regular family meals provide a structured opportunity for everyone to come together, share their day's experiences, and engage in meaningful conversations. This tradition helps you connect with your kids.

I know it’s not always easy, and this will take PRACTICE, but it promotes open communication, active listening, and empathy.

I don’t know about you, dad, but I sure needed to learn more EMPATHY!

Everyone in your family will have the opportunity to understand each other's challenges, triumphs, and concerns. This is huge, because it creates a foundation of trust and emotional support!

2) Weekly Reflections: Establishing a weekly tradition of reflection or gratitude can strengthen emotional bonds. I know this will make some people cringe at first thought — but it doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes at a time.

Gather as a family to discuss things you're grateful for or reflect on positive aspects of the week. My wife had a great idea of creating a ‘gratitude journal’, and we all took turns as the ‘scribe’, which helped us all stay engaged.

This encourages empathy. Each family member gets to express their feelings and experiences while the rest foster a supportive environment. In a world and time where everyone seems to be oppressing each other, this is a time and place in your family where everyone's emotions are acknowledged!

3) Special Celebration Days: Creating personalized celebration days for each family member, where their achievements, interests, or milestones are highlighted, can deepen connections. These are things like birthdays, graduations, maybe sporting competitions or other athletic or even academic accomplishments.

I know of families who even celebrated the graduation of a rehabilitation. It was beautiful, and it was the judge stood up in the courthouse and applauded first— which shocked everyone!

On these days, family members express their admiration and support, fostering emotional validation and building trust. These celebrations demonstrate that the family cares about each individual's well-being and success.

4) Family Support Projects: Engaging in projects that benefit the community or individuals in need can foster a sense of purpose and unity. Participating in charity work or assisting a family member during a challenging time creates opportunities for emotional connection and support.

We have a beautiful community where we live. It’s an agricultural community, and once a month, some of the dad’s of the community send around projects where families need help. Everyone, including the teens, are encouraged to sign up for projects where they are willing to assist.

I have very few building skills myself, but I can clean up. I can make and serve food, and often when there’s little I can do, I babysit so my wife can help make food for the monthly donated lunch for all the workers.

If I were to guess, I think about 120-150 people, men, women, and children, gather one day a month and help one another, then share a meal as a community. It’s one of the best things I’ve experienced since I moved out of the city. These people have been some of the best examples for my kids and I love everyone I’ve met so far.

These shared experiences reinforce the notion that family members can rely on each other for assistance and understanding.

5) Nightly Wind-Down Rituals: Developing a calming nightly ritual, such as reading together, sharing thoughts, or practicing relaxation techniques, can strengthen emotional bonds. These rituals provide a safe space for family members to unwind, express their feelings, and find solace in each other's company. It creates a sense of emotional closeness and a deeper level of trust.

If you have small children like we do, taking a few minutes each night to read to them, have prayers with them, or to tuck them in to bed and tell them you love them makes all the difference.

This is time well worth investing.

Remember that these shared experiences create an environment where family members feel valued, heard, and cared for. You, as mom and dad, can strengthen the emotional fabric of your family unit…just by being a better you.

Hope this helps.

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We’ll see you next time.

Paid subscribers can comment, access the entire archive of this site, along with other stories, cartoons, exclusive podcast, and every article I’ve ever written. If you aren’t a paid subscriber, you can access the archive for free with a 7-day trial OR earn a paid membership by joining the referral program!

Get 7 day free trial


If you enjoy our content, but don’t want to become a member, consider buying us a coffee to keep us going! Thanks so much!

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