Most families have holiday traditions that have been handed down over generations, something like the exact recipe for turkey stuffing or always opening one present on Christmas Eve. Holidays are a great opportunity to think about what traditions we want to create in our families, whether that means preserving great-grandma’s recipe or trying something new.
One popular tradition is baking cookies, squares, pies and Christmas cakes, and many families have certain recipes that are made only during the holidays. If you want to make Christmas baking a tradition in your home but you’re short on time or inspiration, choose one morning and one recipe to bake together with your kids. If all the cookies get eaten up immediately, who cares! The value of the tradition is in the time spent baking together, not stuffing the deep freeze full of more cookies than you can possibly eat.
Holiday Decorations and Crafts
Traditions are comforting in the way they are the same year after year, and holiday decorating can be comforting in this way too. Homemade decorations may not look like a scene out of a home decorating magazine, especially if your kids brought them home from preschool. However, displaying them proudly and bringing them out year after year adds to the meaning and memory of the tradition. Making decorations at home can be a fun tradition for kids too, such as stringing popcorn garlands or paper chains.
Special Outings and Events
Traditions don’t always have to be about making, eating or giving away stuff. In fact, some of the best holiday traditions are simply about going somewhere or being with the same people in the same place each year. Last year we went walking up and down Trinity St. to look at the beautifully decorated houses on Christmas eve, and that is one activity I’d like to make a yearly tradition for my family. It’s simple, fun and had a great feeling of community. Everyone walking around that night was saying hello and wishing each other a Merry Christmas.
Whether you’ve thrown your old traditions to the wind long ago or still make the cranberry sauce the same way your mother, and her mother, and her mother before her did, it’s worth taking the time to think about holiday traditions. Part of the fun of being all grown up is choosing how and why we do things, so go ahead and make this holiday season a memorable one.
Michelle Carchrae is often asking those important life questions: "who moved the scissors?", "how would you do that differently next time?" and "are you finished with the glitter glue?" Homeschooling two girls, ages 6 and 3, is her full time job. The rest of the time Michelle can be found blogging at The Parent Vortex, hiking in the forest or knitting and reading simultaneously. She recently published her first ebook, The Parenting Primer: A guide to positive parenting in the first six years, and moved to Bowen Island.