Creating Holiday Traditions

What are your traditions?

When I was a child we always had amazing traditions when it came to the holidays. I would look forward to trips to the mall to visit Santa and tell him I was such a good girl, and that I wanted the newest Madame Alexander doll I saw in a catalog. Family dinners came in as my second favorite, which they still do today.

But as I grew and Santa became a distant memory I found myself preparing for my own children, and in recent years creating my own traditions with my husband and boys. From putting up the Christmas tree as a family to going to the local Christmas tree lighting’s.

When Babble published their holiday guide earlier in the month I was in heaven. I used it as an opportunity to look at new crafts, recipes, and traditions other families hold near and dear to their hearts. I especially loved the family traditions piece by Erin Zammett Ruddy, describing her Christmas as a little girl, and the traditions she keeps alive to this day with her own family twenty years after the fact. The description of a “live-action Norman Rockwell painting” as the way her family did things really warmed my heart and got me into the mood for the season. As if the Christmas tunes, and lights up on my house already didn’t!

Erin goes on to talk about the moment she realized she needed to start making her own traditions for her son, which reminded me of when I did the same for our oldest child.  He had just turned a year old, I was 20 weeks pregnant with my second child, and we all sat down at home after a long Christmas eve out with family and friends. We turned on the lights on the tree, set up our cookies for Santa, and read The Night Before Christmas. I was sure at his age he wouldn’t understand what the heck we were doing, but it was so important to lay the groundwork of something that would take place annually in our house.

We have continued our Christmas eve traditions since then, and it made me realize as a parent just how important it is for us to build these stable traditions for our own children. They not only show our kids how fun the holidays can be, but also help instill a sense of we’re-in-this-together stability — “this” being both life and the crazy holiday season.

What are some of the traditions you have for your children during the holiday season?

photo : flickr.com/are you my rik?

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