Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


A Favorite Valentine’s Day Tradition that I Can’t Observe This Year.

February 14th, 2016

Episode 214 of 540 episodes

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m on a trip to Chicago with my two daughters, so alas, I’m not able to keep one of my favorite resolutions. As part of the happiness-boosting experiments I tried while writing The Happiness Project — or was it while writing Happier at Home? — I started the tradition of celebrating holiday breakfasts. For instance, for Valentine’s Day. I’ve been doing this for several years now. This resolution works alongside some of my other important family-related resolutions, like Be a treasure house of happy memories and Take time for projects. Family traditions are an important way to build happy memories and to do fun family projects. Traditions make occasions feel special and exciting. They mark the passage of time in a happy way. They provide a sense of anticipation, security and continuity. Studies show that family traditions support children’s social development and strengthen family cohesiveness. They provide the connection and predictability that people crave. I know that I enjoy a holiday more when I know exactly what we’re going to do, and when we’re going to do it. Inspired by a friend, I now decorate for holiday breakfasts for all major and minor holidays. Usually, for Valentine’s Day breakfast, ...

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