When the boys were just little guys, I started dreaming up ideas for traditions for our family. Growing up, we didn’t have many traditions except Christmas Eve at my Grandaddy’s house, and I looked forward to that all year! I wanted my new family to have traditions that they could call their own. I’m always looking for new or creative ways to have fun and add to the traditions we have now. I would love to hear about what traditions you have in your family, too.
You will notice a common theme to all my traditions- they are all simple with a very low bar to measure success. I’ve seen too many women (myself included, um, once or a whole bunch…but who is counting) try to do everything ‘perfectly’ and end up driving themselves crazy. This always leads to the family hiding from mom or dreading participating in family activities. I say keep expectations for perfection low and be happily surprised if no one starts having a tantrum.
Haven’t we all been that woman who pressures herself to make every thing perfect and ends up getting upset and grumpy?
No? That’s just me? Yikes, OK, pretend you have. Stay with me…
Three Family Traditions that Work for us like a Charm!
1) Visiting the local light displays.
You really have to be stick in the mud not to enjoy the beautiful lights. We always eat a meal at home and the boys wear comfy clothes for our trips to see the lights. We take pictures, eat lots of ice cream and sing Christmas songs as we drive home. Nothing fancy, no pressure, just easy fun.
2) Baking & Decorating Christmas Cookies (the easy way)
Y’all know my policies, right? “We can’t both look good, it’s me or the house.” and “If I turned the oven on, it *is* homemade!” I say look for the blue box in the baking aisle and be a rockstar to the kids when it’s ready!
Since my eldest was a toddler, I have baked yummy breads twice a week. My 10yo now often bakes the bread himself. This is my 5yo pretending he can cook, “All by himself,” I explained that his form was all wrong and no one would believe it. He’s cool with that!
We also love to decorate cookies. The youngest little guy is allergic to eggs so I buy the sugar cookie mix and substitute applesauce for eggs. When you cover your cookie in 5lbs of decorations, you don’t noticed your cookie has hidden applesauce anyhoo.
3) Reading “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve.
My husband has a great voice for reading to the kids with gusto…
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
I like to sneak around with my camera and try to capture a little piece of magic. It sounds so simple, read the same book every Christmas Eve and start a family tradition. Simple and it works!
All of these family traditions from my home are easy to incorporate to the family holiday routine, cost very little and will be memories for kids long after any toy of the season is lost under the couch. Remember to keep it simple this year. Slow down, focus on those you love and build memories that will last. You will be so glad you did!
What traditions do you have in your home? Did you have traditions growing up? I would love to hear!
Thanks very much to Pillsbury for sponsoring this post and for providing Pillsbury products for us to have some fun with. I found lots of fun recipes that I’ll be making homemade (winks) on the Pillsbury site. Be sure to go check it out!