Monday, December 10, 2012

It's our traditions that bind us...

I am a sucker for a good tradition.There is something about having these specific memories year after year that seem to mark our growth both as individuals and as a family. As I got older it became easy to maybe let go of some of these traditions because they naturally began to lose their magic. But, while my family was more willing to not put up the mousey advent calendar, or still begin Christmas morning at 8am, I fought for these. Because if we don't have these traditions to help define each year and each celebration it can easily become about the presents and not about the memories.

Now, as a mother, creating these traditions are an essential party to how I look at not just Christmas, but birthdays and other holidays throughout the year. So, to quote the Sound of Music... These are a few of my favorite things:

1. Annual Christmas Ornaments. Each year growing up I got two Christmas Ornaments - one from my grandma of my choice and a surprise 'crystal' ornament from a close family friend. I am so thrilled to share this tradition with E. I haven't started letting her pick out her own ornament yet, but she loves her cowgirl jessie and rapunzel from the past two years. Now, our family tree is a wonderful mix of my childhood ornaments with those of E's.

2. Christmas Eve Jammies. As a kid, I always got to pick a Christmas Eve present, anything I wanted from under the tree. Now, for the past 3 years I've picked out a special set of holiday jammies for E and my niece. Honestly, it makes for adorable Christmas morning picture because my girls are matching! This year, we've even added a holiday nightgown for the doll or stuffed toy of choice that match, as well!

3. Christmas morning breakfast. I love to eat. Christmas is all about the food. While I LOVE Christmas Eve dinner, using the ham to make a delicious Christmas morning breakfast with eggs and hash browns is pretty much the cats meow in my book.

4. Family. Truly, for me, Christmas is all about family. I am part of a particularly dysfunctional  but loving group that you never know what you're going to get. But, as we all age, and have a new generation of crazy, we seem to get along a little better each year.

5. Toys for tots. Or, some other opportunity to give back. I LOVE taking my girl to the toy store to pick out a few items to donate. And, it provides a really natural opportunity to talk about giving back and those less fortunate. E is so compassionate and I really think this is going to be something that we grow to love.

6. Parades. There is nothing quite like sitting on a cold curb and sitting in terrible traffic to kick off your holiday season! ;) But, there is a special magic in the floats and marching bands....

7. And finally, on a very serious note - the Red Starbucks cup. This seriously marks the start of the season in my mind. And, now that we are in a cold climate for the winter, I find the look of a gloved hand with a red cup in tow to be totally adorable.


And, some things I'd like to add to our family traditions...
1. Elf on the Shelf. This is clearly ALL the rage right now in Pinterest, but I'm just not sure my girl was ready for that this year. However, I do have a ton of ideas ready to go next holiday season.
2. Attending the Nutcracker Ballet. E is performing in it this year with her creative movement class, and this mommy couldn't be more excited!
3. Christmas Eve church service as a family. I've attended once or twice with friends over the years, but never as a family. We are really enjoying attending our local church, and while we are still navigating our spiritual journey as a family, I think this is something we'd like to add to our holiday traditions.

What are your traditions friends? What are you doing this year or hope to do in future years?" target="_blank">
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1 comment:

  1. Love these! Each family's special moments are a little different, and I love that! And yes, the red cup. I don't even drink coffee, but a peppermint hot chocolate sure tastes better in one of those!