Monday, January 16, 2012

Inventing New Holiday Traditions

I don't remember my family/ies having a lot of holiday traditions growing up - or if we did have holiday traditions, they were of the grownup sort that didn't mean a lot to me as a kid. So every holiday was a little different. Fun, sure, but the expectation surrounding the holiday was all about the presents because there were so few other traditions to look forward to. 

My goal this past year? I wanted to break the cycle of not having strong holiday traditions that my children can pass on to their own families - or at least remember when they're grown up like me.

Where I got stuck was how exactly one goes about inventing holiday traditions.

Some things that the BabbyDaddy wanted to do - like open one present that's always jammies on Christmas Eve - just didn't work out this year. There were a few years where my dad hung our stockings on our bedposts so we got to do a little unwrapping while parents slept that much longer, and I love the idea but the Babby is too little to open gifts by herself. It looks like certain traditions will have to wait until we're spending Christmas at home instead of traveling and until the Babby is older.

But this year, I think we laid down the framework for a few new holiday traditions: the pre-Halloween weekend costume bike ride into Salem (weather permitting), the decoration of the Christmas tree the day after Thansgiving, and the decoration of leftover Christmas cookies on the day the Christmas things come down to soften the blow.

holiday traditions

There are holiday traditions I definitely want to add in coming years, like decorating and then using an advent wreath with candles and having the Babby help pick out or make gifts for family members. And I suppose there will be holiday traditions that just sort of evolve as time goes by. 

I just know that when my children are grown I want them to look back on the things our family did for the holidays and smile.

What holiday traditions has your family invented?


  1. So cute, I think they're good traditions to star. I was passing along the SITS blog & found your blog.

  2. I don't have a family, but me & my partner have some holiday traditions that we've invented for ourselves:

    - We do the shopping for all the "special" holiday food (the joint, the panettone, the wines, the candied fruits) in nice delis and markets. We put aside a Saturday to do it in and make a whole day out of bumping around busy "foodie" locations
    - We cook the Christmas lunch together, side by side. It makes it a little bit chaotic sometimes but we don't care - it's about doing something we love together, not about perfect timing and presentation

    These might work better with slightly older children, but frankly it's never too early to teach children about the appreciation and preparation of real, slow, quality food.

  3. That's a brilliant idea, Marina! For next year, I think a nice food shopping trip will definitely be in order along with introducing the Babby to some of the traditional sorts of holiday foods. Thanks :)

  4. Like you, I think we'll add traditions as our kids get older. it would be nice to get their input too. One thing I do plan on is a community service project for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. I used to go caroling at nursing homes from age 12-18 and it's something I still still as an adult some years. I would love to make that a tradition for my family!

  5. That's another awesome idea, Teresha! I agree that giving back should definitely be a part of the traditions we create :)

  6. I feel the same stress around the holidays - finding something that will be our tradition. With my daughter only being one, I have some time, but I understand the desire.

    Thanks for stopping by Two Washingtons!


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