As I am in my final stages of holiday decorating..(the tree will be adorned today) I am fondly reminded of our simple traditions started when my kids where little. More so during the holidays than any other part of the year these long ago erected traditions have become the thread that gives our family strength and hopefully a legacy carried on to their families. Some have evolved over the years, but some can’t be changed.
Every first day of school had to begin with the dreaded picture before we left.
Every Christmas would bring the annual trek to the Mall for the picture with Santa, inevitably ending up with at least one child screaming at the top of their lungs about the injustice about sitting on this imposters lap. I have a Vintage Christmas Tree salvaged from my Mother in Laws attic which proudly displays picture frames with the proof of the yearly trauma inflicted upon my kids.
Then there are some subtle traditions that didn’t really begin intentionally. Every year on Christmas Eve when the kids were small and still “Believed” I would stay up late of course and make the gifts magically appear under the tree Christmas morning, this all in order to keep the mystery alive. Well, much to my surprise a few years ago I figured the gig was up, the kids were grown I no longer needed to keep up with the charade so I figured I could use the packages that I had so neatly wrapped as decorations placed strategically about the house…. That didn’t go over well, the kids got together and expressed their dismay to my husband that this was just totally unacceptable and wanted him to tell me that they wanted the gifts to appear as they always did Christmas morning. So needless to say this ritual is still alive and well in our home, even last year when the ADULT children mind you decided they would stay up till 3:30 Christmas Eve playing video games….a mother never sleeps….
Our tradition of getting to open one gift Christmas Eve still stands, we all get new pajamas that of course must be worn that night….
One of my favorite ones started years ago that we all look forward to is our Dinner after church Christmas Eve at the local Chinese Restaurant with our close friends, this of course followed by endless hours of A Christmas Story marathon.
The same cookies are made every year, the same Christmas breakfast must be devoured. These simple things are what gives our family its history, its character.
It saddens me that we seem to be losing some of the old traditions, the simple art of the Christmas Card has dwindled to sending email or text messages to send our greetings of the holidays to family and friends. I like nothing more than to open a Christmas Card and display it as some sort of acknowledgement that someone thought enough of me to send one. So as we all get caught up in the race, take the time to honor your traditions or start new ones, these are the legacies I want to leave for my kids, a Christmas 30 years from now I want a small child to wear a shiny new pair of P.J’s Christmas Eve because “It’s A Family Tradition”
What are your traditions? Would love you to comment on what rituals you have that you can’t live without!!