If there were any day of the week ripe to be ritualized, it’s Sunday, a day where people gather for family, faith, and if it’s the season, football. Even in this day in age where you can get a whole tailgate party delivered to your door in an hour, there are some companies who remain closed on Sundays to spend time with family and friends.
Football, in itself, is rich in history and tradition. From the Lambeau Leap to the Terrible Towel, football fans have already created longstanding iconic traditions. In the past, football has historically been considered ‘a man’s sport’ however, considering 45 percent of NFL fans are women, it’s safe to say ‘Football has become a family affair.’
In an article on family routines and rituals, Psychologist Barbara H. Fiese, Ph.D., states “Routines involve instrumental communication conveying information that ‘this is what needs to be done’ and involve a momentary time commitment so that once the act is completed, there is little, if any, afterthought.”
Rituals, on the other hand, involve symbolic communication and convey ‘this is who we are’ as a group and provide continuity in meaning across generations. Also, there is often an emotional imprint where once the act is completed, the individual may replay it in memory to recapture some of the positive experience.”
Routines can become rituals once they become more intentional, which is why it’s so important to not only create Sundays as a time to spend with family but to combine it with something the whole family enjoys. Over time, the moments that make memories become a tradition.
Making Sunday a family tradition
The iconic ‘Sunday Dinner’ has been a tradition for centuries. It’s a time for families to sit down without phones and have genuine conversations about life and (from September to February) football.
An article from Southern University reports that families who spend quality time together have better communication and stronger emotional bonds than families that do not make family time a priority. It’s even reported that kids who spend time communicating with their parents tend to get better grades and are less likely to exhibit behavioral problems.
Here are some ways to combine family and football to make Sundays in the fall a tradition to last generations.
Watching the game at home:
You don’t need a special party to make this a family tradition. Watching the game at home can be a tradition itself. Preparing for the game is half the fun with special game day menus and snacks. Choose a few recipes and make them only ‘game-day specials’ such as this Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Dip or Bacon Ranch Pepper Jack Pull Apart Bread.
Younger kids will stay occupied by making game day crafts and older kids can tie-dye their team colors or decorate their own jerseys.
Going to the game:
Many fans have included the ultimate tailgate set up as part of their game day tradition. Iconic tailgating towns such as Buffalo, New York and Green Bay, Wisconsin have to deal with the snow and weather for their tailgating experience. Cardinals fans have it easy when it comes to weather. The average temp in Glendale in the fall is between 60-85 degrees.
Cardinals fans create family traditions of going to a game by entering to win home game tickets and even a chance to attend ‘The Big Game’ in February.
So, whether you stay at home or attend the game in person, you can make faith, family and football a Sunday tradition for generations to come.
* Sanderson Ford is closed on Sundays to give employees time to spend with their families. See how you can win tickets and enjoy faith, family, and football on Sundays in the fall.