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Making Your Own Holiday Traditions

by Christy on November 25, 2009
category: Humor/Random,Practical Tips

thanksgiving table The holidays are a time of excitement and family.  Growing up, we are shuffled to this relatives house or that one’s house to see family and eat wonderful meals prepared with love.  As we mature and start our own families, it’s only natural that we would want to start our own traditions.  This year, my family opted to have a small Thanksgiving at home with just us and my Mom.  Now, we can’t say that this will be our annual tradition, but it’s nice to break from the mold once in a while and do something a little different. 

There are certain things to think about before trecking out on your own with holiday traditions:

How will everyone else take it?  It’s always important to consider how other family feels about you ducking out of the normal traditions and starting your own, especially if that means not participating in the usual festivities. 

What kinds of things do you want to do?  When merging two families (yours and your husbands) there will obviously be two or more ideas of how to do things.  Sit down and discuss how you both would like your family to celebrate the holidays, what traditions are especially important to both of you and what things you don’t want to do. 

How can you get things started?  When starting new traditions, it’s not important that you do everything the first holiday.  Don’t feel obliged to get it perfect from the get-go.  Remember that your family has most likely been doing the same thing for years and that they started out slowly too. 

I think it’s a great idea to start your own traditions and have fun doing it.  Let your kids help out with decorations and cooking/baking.  Let them be a part of incorporating the new ideas and activities so that they feel they connected to the holidays and are not just spectators. 

Have you ventured out on your own and started your own holiday traditions?  What was the most difficult part for you?  How did you get started?

Photo Courtesy of Evan S. Photography

5 Responses to Making Your Own Holiday Traditions

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Mel C
    November 25, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

    growing up I had a very disfubctional life from my birth home, to foster homes, and in my adopted family. out of all the holidays that i have celebrated one stands out to me. My foster family was going to Florida on Christmas vacation so they left me and with a family over the holidays. On Christmas Eve the father of this family read the Christmas Story, his wife played carrols on the piano as the family sang along, and then at the end of night they told me to choose any Christmas ornament that I wanted off of their Christmas tree. I choose a beautiful stained glass ornament that looked like a bell with holly on the top. I had hated Chrsitmas and all holidays up until that point and since then decorating the tree has been very special to me. Now that I have started my own family we have bought a Christmas ornament for our daughter every year (2 years now… she is 16 months old) and I have made one for her. We choose ornaments that she can put on her tree when she starts her own life away from ours so nothing that looks like it is suppose to be for a child only. Each ornament has a specail meaning behind it. Last year I got her a fairy ornament. The name of the fairy was the same name as my daughter and it was the last year that that ornament was sold… the year that my daughter was born. i made her the twelve days of Christmas ornaments (a song that she enjoyed listening to during her first Christmas). This year I got her a balloon ornament (an air balloon since we live in Albuquerque… so that no matter where she goes she always knows where she came from… Albuquerque is known for the balloon fiesta that they throw every year). And this year I am filling a clear ornament with a tiny quilt that I have made out of her baby clothes that she wore on specail occassions.
    For me, not having a strong family background has been difficult for me as I incorperate our own family traditions. My family is not part of our lives but my hubby’s side of the family is and so I have to work around their traditions as well which can be difficult with his dad and step mom. We got started by insuring that the day of the holiday we spend alone without anyone else (except for Thanksgiving) and the day before or after the holiday we visit the family so that we still get to celebrate with everyone’s traditions.

  • Comment by Christy
    November 25, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

    Wow Mel… I love the idea of letting your daughter choose an ornament and that you are making her an ornament each year. That is so special. What a wonderful family that took you in that year to inspire you and give you the joy of the holidays back!!!
    We also try to make sure that on Christmas, we have our own special “family” time and then extended family can have fun with us after our special time. It was hard at first to transition from the extended family traditions to ours, but once we did it, it was wonderful!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Natalie
    November 25, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

    I loved the story Mel shared. So neat to hear! Love this post, by the way!

  • Comment by Amanda
    November 25, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

    @Mel C – Wow. That is great story. Love the ornament idea!

    @Christy – Growing up we did Christmas morning as an immediate family. Then at lunch we got dressed and headed to Grandma’s. I have taken on that tradition with my own family. Christmas morning is our special time, then we head out to my in-laws. (Although, we are spending the night at my in-law’s tonight before Thanksgiving and may after Thanksgiving too :) )

    My parents live 4 hours away so it is hard to make it on Christmas Day. So we usually make the 4 hour drive the next day or the following weekend.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by shraddha
    November 29, 2009 @ 3:05 am

    i am from India but we have been celebrating all American holidays along with Indian holidays with my girls..(twins…3 year old)
    Choosing the traditions to follow has been fun road and is very enriching..

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