At the end of this post I have a question for you about holiday traditions. I’m so intrigued by people’s traditions and how they first came to be. I have been thinking a lot about holiday traditions over the past few weeks. Maybe it’s because this is only our second Christmas all together and in someways it feels like family traditions are just getting started for us, yet at the same time we also have traditions that go way back too.
I remember over ten years ago how my mom loved to decorate for Christmas and was sad that none of her college aged kids wanted to help with bringing some extra cheer into the house. Knowing that experience, I wondered if Sam and I could make setting up the tree a fun experience for our kids while they were really young that would make it a long lasting family tradition for years to come.
What if the Saturday after Thanksgiving was our special day together as a family to decorate and prepare for the joyful month ahead. Our plan became…
1) Decorate the tree (we have an artificial one)
2) Enjoy a special family meal all together at a restaurant (that way cleanup is a snap and no cooking is involved!)
3) Then come home and enjoy watching a Christmas movie together.
The night before we had given the kids the option to…go out to a restaurant or we had mentioned that we could stay in and order pizza. Not just any kind of pizza though…the “expensive” kind with ham & pineapple and we could even order some bread sticks and POP (oh how my old East coast upbringing still wants to say “soda.”) We usually stick to cheese or pepperoni pizza and a glass of water or milk. Our kids were in heaven at the thought of a glass of sierra mist…SIERRA MIST?!? I guess it really is about enjoying the little things.
They picked the stay at home pizza option.
I’m pretty sure I got there and back in record time all with the gas light on wondering if I was going to end up stranded on the side of the road.
Oh how they have grown.
I also discovered that traditions can be adapted and changed and that flexible is better than being disappointed that things didn’t turn out like I might have first thought.
I witnessed my husband and dad pour their talent and sweat into a floor that will last for years to come.
Most of all I learned a lesson that traditions don’t have to look the same each year and that flexibility mixed with family will create more special moments and memories than you ever expected!
What’s important is that the traditions we do have as a family are teaching our kids about what’s really important in life and in this case it’s the love of family, the fun of spending time together, and the value of knowing the reason for this joyful season of celebration we are stepping into.
Who cares if it doesn’t always go as planned?