There is nothing wrong with being a little old-fashioned. Back in the day, Huey Lewis knew it was hip to be square. While there are a few negative connotations associated with the term, there are a lot of positive associations with being old-fashioned. For instance, no one thinks that old-fashioned ice cream is a bad thing. It suggests that the treat has been done right, prepared with the greatest of care. It might even be described as hand-crafted. That is always a good thing. Better still, it is superior to the alternative.
Then, there is the grey area as seen in such concepts as old-fashioned values. What exactly are old-fashioned values? That rather depends on who is defining them. It is also a polarizing idea because about half the US believes there should be a return to those values while the other half is busily defining a more up-to-date set of values. The takeaway is that old-fashioned, like beauty, is largely in the eye of the beholder. We can also agree that things are not bad or undesirable just because they are old. Here are a few old-fashioned things worth keeping alive for the next generation to enjoy:
We are now living among a generation of teens who have never seen a vinyl record or the player that makes them go. In the same way, there is almost no one alive today who has ever seen a turntable firsthand. It is simply not a part of modern reality. You need to act quickly if you have any hope of your children coming to appreciate vinyl.
There is a technology story to be told. So if your kids are into tech and music, get them a vinyl record player for the holidays and a few choice records to start their collection. Understand that there will be a collection. No one can stop at just one. A lot of bookshelves might not have spaces tall enough for records. That is why you will also want to give them a case that is suitable for containing those gloriously large disks. In this case, the larger size is a feature, not a bug. We all miss that amazing cover art. Vinyl records are not just a feast to the ears, but for all the senses. Your kids are going to love them.
Real Christmas Trees
Modern Christmas trees are beautiful, perfectly symmetrical, easy to set up, take down, store… and all without making a mess or requiring the help of four husky friends to wrangle. They are also as fake as a $3 bill. There is a good chance your kids have never been on a great Christmas tree hunt. That is the kind of old-fashioned thing that everyone should experience at least once.
You don’t have to head off into the unknown wilds to bag a great tree. Christmas tree farms are nearby and ready for you to come and experience this tradition with your family in a safe environment. You get to look for the perfect tree. There are no precise criteria for what makes a perfect tree. However, if you do need tips for picking out the right Christmas tree for your family, that information is trivially easy to find. At the end of the day, the perfect tree is the one everyone had a hand in choosing. Don’t lose this family tradition.
A Proper Meal
One of the great traditions of the past that is in desperate need of resurrection is the family meal. Even if it can’t happen every day, it should happen at least once a week. I am referring to a formal meal where the entire family dresses up, then gathers around the table to appreciate the bounty of the meal and the hard work of preparing it. Think of it as a miniature version of Thanksgiving. Even if it is done only once a month, showing a little bit of gratitude before tucking into a meal is a tradition that is already mostly lost (but would be easy to bring back, at least in your family).
Without a doubt, some traditions are worth saving. Preserve the tradition of vinyl music enjoyment, the great Christmas tree hunt, and the occasional family dinner. In turn, you may find yourself — and your family — are much happier overall.