The holidays are upon us and it’s time for traditions. Some are old and some are new, some are traditions we never even thought of as traditions. This is where I have recently found myself. I mean, we have traditions, but I never really thought of them as traditions.
Maybe it’s because when I was growing up my family didn’t have traditions. I mean, we never even ate Thanksgiving dinner together or Christmas dinner together. Every family member would just eat when they were hungry and take their plate to their room and eat. No family bonding, no fun family memories being built. I felt shortchanged, especially when I watched Christmas movies. Weren’t families supposed to eat dinner together, have big get-togethers whether or not everyone gets along or not? Have white elephant gifts, do gift exchanges, have a cookie making party or candy making party, make gingerbread houses, open a present on Christmas Eve? Where was this in my life?!
Okay, so that didn’t exist in my life. But I did come close to a family tradition growing up. Two Christmases in a row my brother dated a beautiful young lady who was dedicated to him. You see I grew up with 5 brothers. They all liked her and were happy my brother was dating her. Anyhow, She was the only one who was able to get everyone together to eat Christmas Eve dinner. After dinner and dessert we would play board games up until midnight. We would wake up my parents and open Christmas gifts then go to bed (then revisit our gifts in the morning). This was so much fun for me, a great taste in what traditions should be, right? Yes. Too bad they broke up and so did this tradition.
|My amazing friend and I.|
So some of us grow up in crazy families with traditions; some of us don’t. But there is always a time to start a tradition. Now I haven’t really given traditions much thought with my family until I talked traditions with my friend from The Accidental Domestic. She is one lady who is big on traditions. She gets her cute family together and puts together a bucket list for every new season, just to make sure all the fun things that come with that season get done. From the first of November to Thanksgiving, she reads a book a day about fall and giving thanks. Every fall, she and her husband rake a big pile of leaves for the kids to jump in; they take neighborhood walks and collect beautiful leaves. She has even adopted some of her husband’s childhood traditions for their own children to enjoy. She feels it is so great their children can experience some of the joys her husband had growing up. This was so awesome for me to hear. Then it dawned on me…I have started lots of traditions in my home too.
Since I am a frugal person I don’t buy holiday decorations; I make them. I make a new one every year, adding to my collection. I have a rotating Thanksgiving dish I serve every year that is a new recipe. I also like to serve a traditional dish, such as my Bacon, Leek, Sausage Stuffing or my Twice Baked Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes! For Christmas, we do lots of different activities: watch a different Christmas movie every night, counting down to Christmas; we decorate Gingerbread houses; make gingerbread men and women, including my husbands “special variety” (very few know what they are, hehee), have a candy making party and make a platter of treats to share with our neighbors; make and decorate sugar cookies; go out and look at Christmas lights and enjoy a hot chocolate; each one of our kids prepares an Operation Christmas Child box and includes something they made on the sewing machine. I have a life full of great traditions I never really thought about, until my wonderful conversation with my friend.
Traditions can be just about anything, but I didn’t know that. The best part is that you can start now. You may already have some traditions, but didn’t even know it, like me. Close the book to all the ugly memories you might have and create something new and beautiful with your kids or your friends.