Holiday Traditions

Holidays were so special when I was growing up. I remember huge family gatherings, both my mom and dad’s side of the family. Traditions of Santa Sunday when all the cousins would sit on Santa’s lap at Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop’s house. The big present exchange. Tons of yummy traditional foods like my Mom-Moms snickerdoodle cookies. Then Christmas Day- not being able to come downstairs until the Christmas music was playing… My mom cooking her breakfast casserole. Traveling to see family.

During my time in the military I was blessed with assignments in Maryland and Oklahoma. However, those locations put me about a 2-day drive from family. Being without family left me figuring out my own little family holiday traditions. I started cooking some “famous” foods that I only cook on holidays, singing at Christmas Eve church service, and doing an ornament exchange with the kids.

Now, I find that with the kids older, and my husband away for the holidays (work) that I have to put a good effort into growing holiday traditions. For example, on Thanksgiving it will be just my oldest son and my husband. On Christmas it will be just the three boys and I.

So- what is Kristen going to do to help make the holiday’s special.

1) Decorate

I’ve never been much for decorating. I’m a little cheap and lazy. But I am ready this year! I have put up some fall decorations and I’m preparing to decorate for Christmas. I’m actually excited about this!

2) Celebrate our family

We don’t need big and grand gatherings to value our love and closeness as a family. We can take the time we have on the holiday to laugh and enjoy one another. I may miss my extended family- but enjoying the moment and being present is so important to my husband and kids.

3) Continue to grow traditions

With the boys getting older, I have worries that when they are out of the house they won’t visit over holidays because they aren’t a “big deal” or we don’t do much. I am working to change this. We already have Halloween traditions, we just need more Thanksgiving and Christmas ones.

We also travel often for a holiday. Last year was to Michigan and this year to PA. Maintaining traditions even when not at home is so important.

***This is where I need your ideas! What are some holiday traditions that don’t have to occur on the actual holiday- or that we can all do even if we aren’t all together?

The holidays are a season of giving, of celebrating time together with one another- that message is the theme that I want to give my family each year 🎄🍁

Thank you for reading!!

5 thoughts on “Holiday Traditions

  1. Love this idea for added traditions. Once when our family lived in Silver Spring and I was working full time, Dad was home as “Mr. Mom”. One morning, we received a beautiful indoor tree with bows on it and a white dove sitting on one of the limbs. No card, nothing. It had been placed at our doorstep the night before by some stranger, or so I thought. I was a little skeptical at first, like who had a secret admirer, or maybe some stalker, etc. But each day for the next 11 days we received some sort of small gift for our family. Again, day after day, no clue as to the gifter but I would try my darndest to hide within the curtains of the house to see who was this sweet stranger who thought enough of our family to shower us with thoughtful daily deliveries. It was themed to the 12 days of Christmas so sometimes the gift would be 8 hershey kisses or 9 frosted cookies. Excitedly, one lucky night I watched this shadowed figure scurry away from our doorstep as they left behind probably Day 10 or Day 11. I think I knew who it was, (they were all bundled and hooded) a friend of our family’s who knew that this particular year was a challenging one for my family and their small daily gestures gave me hope and love once again. I am sharing this, if you and your family would like to start this tradition for someone you may know in your area, it would be such a fun thing for each one to talk and decide how to do this. Not to mention the trickery of sneaking up to their house and not getting caught by the recipient! I had always wanted to duplicate this and as I am writing, I am thinking of just the right person I am going to surprise this year! (Altho, when traveling for the holidays, the 12 days would need to be backed up and end before Christmas Eve.)

    1. I remember this!! I remember trying to figure out who it was. I love the idea of a surprise gift. I’m going to talk to the boys tonight and brainstorm this!

  2. Oh good, glad you remember this~ It still brings back very dear memories of our friends in the DC area~

  3. I love bundling up my babies and taking a walk on Christmas Day. We live in Utah, and it is always good to be outside, even when the weather is cold. It is always very quiet and there is never noise from cars – I love that part. Our family walks are a great way to breathe outside and move off some of that indulgent food and booze.

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