Thursday, December 4, 2008


As it is the holiday season, one of the things I've been thinking about lately is traditions. Traditions feel and seem so important. But how do I start traditions within my own new family?

Growing up, we did not have many holiday traditions. For a few years of my youth, my mom would take out Christmas decorations such as her Department 56 village, and I loved setting it up. My sister and I also had the annual Christmas card picture posing to look forward to. We actually hated the day my mom took the Christmas picture because it would mean standing in the same position for at least an hour while she tried to get us in the right pose. But looking back on those pictures now, I see how creative she was and how original a lot of those pictures were. We also loved decorating the Christmas tree, and every year we looked forward to unwrapping the different decorations, and trying to find our favorite ones. One of my favorite parts of Christmas morning was opening my stocking, as it was often hidden and my sister and I had to find it. Once we found it, that was the one thing we were allowed to open when my parents weren't with us. So, we often opened them together...very early in the morning. But other then those few things, we didn't do much. And after we found out about Santa Claus, and got involved in skating, and my mom went back to work...we didn't decorate at all. In fact, even the picture Christmas cards stopped. And for a time, so even, did the Christmas tree (which made no sense...since we sold Christmas trees). The only thing that stayed constant was that we would spend Christmas with the family, always going up to my dad's brother's house.

Right now, I am finding myself in an entirely new place in life. This is the first year of my life that the family is not selling trees...which means I actually have to go out looking for a tree...but also that I can decorate my own place for once. The first year I will not be home in Delaware for the month of December, or even for Christmas for that matter. It is the first year that I actually have a house to decorate, and the first year I will spend with my our own little family.

So what traditions to I want to try and start? What traditions would I eventually like my children to look forward to every holiday season? Every Christmas morning?

I am actually having trouble thinking of many. I do not know what kinds of things to start. I DO know that there are a few that have taken hold of me in one way or another...I have no idea how. I LOVE having Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for breakfast on holiday mornings. Thanksgiving and Christmas especially. They taste yummy, and aren't so filling that you ruin your holiday dinner. I've continued to make them as we've had our first holidays together. I want to decorate the house at some point...probably not too much this year, as we don't have many decorations, but in coming years after we have time to hit sales. I want to go Christmas tree hunting every year on the same weekend, and have fun ornaments to put on our tree. I want to have fun, homemade Christmas picture cards...not the ones that get made at Walmart or other photo places. But ones I put together at home, like my mom and dad and even my grandfather did. But other then that...I can't think of anything else. It is something I will continue to think about this year and in the coming years...and that I hope B contributes to as well. I'd love to carry on traditions that were prevalent in his family.

What traditions did you have in your family during the holiday season that you always looked forward to? I've seen so many as I've blogged...I'd love to know how they got started, and why you love those traditions. What new ones did you start when you began a family of your own? I'd love to hear your stories, as I begin to look for my own.

P.S. We have by the way, at least continued with picture Christmas cards. I do not have the time or ability to put together the kind I would like this year due to many factors, but we did our own. It represents me and B quite well...we love each other and one of the reason we love each other is our ability to be goofy and make each other laugh... :) So, here it is:


Jaden Paige said...

I love your Christmas card!! So funny and cute :)

And wow, you must have a LOT of animals... Or a lot of little kids with silly names :)

Kelly Deneen said...

Traditions as a new family are tough. I am still sad that Christmas is not the same for me now that I'm married. I loved the holidays when I was a child!

Now that we have a child, things are becoming more fun though. One tradition that we are starting this year is that our immediate family will stay at home on Christmas Eve night. My in-laws live 2.5 hours away, and my parents live 1.5 hours away; we end up traveling a lot. However, I want us to have our own traditions too. We will have Christmas Eve dinner together -- maybe it will end up being pizza delivery or something silly. We will have Christmas Eve morning at home with just the 3 of us. Once Delia is older, she (and maybe a sibling some day?) will also be able to open their stockings while we sleep in. We also had that tradition growing up.

I think you will end up stumbling upon some good traditions for your own family as time goes on. Heck, we've been married 6 years, and we're still figuring it out. ha!

Kristen said...

Traditions for me are what you make them. Sometimes you don't know they are traditions until you look back and think...I always did that or I loved doing this. I have not been doing my own Christmas for too many years but I have a few under my belt and some things I've noticed are becoming a tradition.
I think if you just do things that make you and your family feel happy and special then they will start becoming what you look forward to each year and they will be your traditions.

Imperfect said...

Traditions were a bit part of my life growing up. And I miss a lot of them now that I'm going through my first holiday season away from home. But Hubby and I are having a lot of fun together trying to come up with our own traditions. So far it's been looking for a Christmas tree together (which we still haven't gotten yet) and using Christmas plates for the month of December. I'm sure we'll think of and start more as the season goes on.

Funny picture by the way. Love it!

Donn24g said...

I absolutely LOVE your christmas card, it's very fun and happy--just seems perfect.

I have similiar view of traditions, and now that I am older traditions are comforting when I live far from home. Though I dont have a family yet, the litte things are what make up my traditions. Like where I get my xmas tree (a local guy who is SO friendly and fun with lots of great trees), Matt and I have named the tree every year. Last year we baked cookies together, made gingerbread houses, went to Zoolights, just created memories. Which I think overtime manifest into traditions....It really is what you make of it all. Youll figure it out:)

Denise said...

We don't have a lot of traditions - or at least yet! But...after I just wrote that sentence...maybe we do?? Like where we buy our tree every year and the way we pick it out. We also have an ornament tradition where it is our first present on Xmas morning to open and then hang on the tree. I have been doing that since I was a little girl. We also make sure everything in the stocking is wrapped - again something we did since I was a little girl. Other than that...I am not sure what traditions we have! Guess we'll make new ones since the munchkin joined our family!

By the way - that pic ROCKS!

ann ominous said...

One tradition that I miss very much now that I dont live in the same place as our that every Christmas eve at Midnight my sister and I would go out to the barn to see if we could hear the horses talking. There's an old story that for one hour on Christmas Eve, all the animals can talk...and we somehow started trying to hear them and we'd take them out an apple and sit and listen to the quiet night and wait...never heard Colors or Cinnamon say anything...did get nipped once when I was too slow with the apple slicing!

We do still have a christmas breakfast with my family every year. My dad makes omelettes (always burnt) and my mom makes caramel rolls and English bacon and sauteed mushrooms. We eat and toast eachother with a glass of wine at breakfast. Slightly strange but somehow that's something they started...even when we were babies we got a sip of wine for luck.

Bret and I haven't really started any traditions yet since our lives are so wrapped in my family's with a younger sister and his family. We do decorate and that usually happens thanksgiving weekend. I can't wait til we actually do start our own...

What A Card said...

I love the funny! And you know what....this is my very first Christmas at my own house, even though I've been married 12 years and have 3 year old kids. It's weird to have to create new traditions! Good luck to you!

And thanks for stopping by my blog. I know just what you mean about wanting to be a writer. I wish you luck, that you soon feel ready to take the step to just do it!

Anonymous said...

Cute, cute, cute card! And my mom used to cook Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning too! How funny! This year i'm by myself in the morning so i'm not sure what i'll do.

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