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The Importance of Home and Family
Western culture is largely based on home and family. From the Royal Family to the family next door, Westerners are infatuated with all aspects of home and family life. Holiday traditions and family rituals revolve around the home. Family values are learned at home. Family meals are prepared and eaten at home. The home is truly the centre of family life.
The significance and value of home and family life is often emphasised through home décor. Furniture selected and arranged especially to accommodate family gatherings and meals announces the importance placed on the family to anyone entering the home. A family portrait prominently displayed along with fine art is common. Holiday decorations, such as the Christmas tree or a nativity scene, are given a place of honour each year. Passing various meaningful objects from one generation to the next ensures that the items retain significance and value within the family.
Time Spent Together
Holiday feasts and other family gatherings reinforce the importance of continuing these traditions. Spending time together as a family allows children to learn about relationships and provides the emotional security so important to healthy development. Interactions with extended family have a positive impact on people of all ages. The home is truly the foundation of family life.
Local and national events have been created to support and encourage families. National Family Week is a new campaign begun in the UK in May 2009. Endorsed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and many other national celebrities, National Family Week honours all families and family life.
Creating Stronger Families
The home should be a place of warmth where all family members feel loved and accepted. Creating this atmosphere is of the utmost importance regardless of family type or configuration. Introducing meaningful rituals and observing family traditions provides security and continuity that results in emotionally healthy individuals who then venture out into the world as productive members to society. Sir Thomas M. Barrie (1860-1937) said, "So much of what is great has sprung from the closeness of family ties." This playwright and novelist provides an eloquent summation of the value placed on home and family in Western culture.