What are your Holiday Traditions?
Traditions are important. I love them. They are tied into my fondest memories from childhood. I try my hardest to build traditions with my boys – unique to our family- and instill in them traditions from my past.
Traditions give symbolic meaning and special significance to our holidays… they keep us connected to our origins and our pasts. Fall heralds the holidays… These holidays are filled with tradition in our family. This past Thanksgiving we made a paper “Thankful” banner. Each person in the family wrote on the banner exclaiming what it is they are thankful for in life. We hope to add our “thanks” each year and build upon these blessings. What a wonderful reminder of what we have and those around us to share these “thanks”.
Every Christmas season my family <meaning the girls and the kids> gather and bake cookies. Lots and lots of cookies! My favorite sugar cookie recipe is here at Martha Stewart. The kids decorate the cookies and gorge themselves on sugar. Then we package the cookies and mail them to family far away. We consider it a box of homemade love. It seems stressful and chaotic in the moment. That is mainly because there are 3 cooks in one kitchen. But, as my sister’s family prepares to move cross country to Arizona, this tradition will have a more important impact on the family. Next Christmas we will be sending each other these boxes of love. This tradition will mean more to my kids and me.
We also spend weekends watching our fave Holiday movies. Here is a good list for movie ideas. Not all the movies on the list are kid appropriate. Our must sees each year are Elf, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone. These movie days are excuses to slow down and just chill on the couch. With a fire in the hearth, cookies in our bellies, and snuggles under shared blankets, those movies are made special by the laughs from the boys.
Come Christmas morning we have fun opening presents that repeat themselves each year. There is always a wrapped gift with a humorous T-shirt for each person in the family. The funnest part is picking the shirt for the person. The kids also know that there will always be a pair of socks from the cats and pajama bottoms from the dogs under the tree.
This year we are adding the Pickle Ornament to our fun traditions. Here is what contributors say on Wikipedia. I bought it today at Target for $4. A Google search finds many buying options if you can’t find one locally. I chose lots of sparkles. Cause, who doesn’t like a sparkly green pickle ornament? I have already prepped the kids, too. Here is how it will go at my house… We will hang the ornament in the tree until Christmas Eve. Then, the kids will take it down and place it by the cookie and carrot plate left out for Santa. They also plan to leave a note asking Santa to hide it well. Santa will then rehang the ornament but in a hidden location in the tree. The first kid to “eye spy” the pickle will be able to open a special family gift from Santa and that kid will get “good fortune” for the new year. The middle Green boy exclaimed, “I will find it first, then I will go out and buy the lotto-ry and win millions!” I like his go get’em attitude – most of the time. And, great minds think alike. I was actually considering Lottery tickets as the special gift. One for each family member.
Put some simple and fun traditions into the Holiday mix!