Why Create Family Traditions?
An important part of parenthood for me was creating memories and building our own family traditions. I remember purchasing our first home—my vision of my future children coming down the stairs to gifts under the Christmas tree was as important as ensuring we had enough indoor garage space for our cars. I shared this vision with my husband, and like most, he thought I was nuts! I was most excited to build those memories and create family traditions of our own we could recreate and our children would remember and share with family and friends. We both agreed on the importance of providing our future children with memories of the holidays and/or special family events. Whether that is embracing the magic of Santa and his elves, celebratory tooth loss with the tooth fairy, Friday night dinners, Sunday church meals, or whatever it is, make it your own. Remember it is those memories cherished which are most important to your loved ones.
What Happens When Your Vision of Family Traditions Does Not Work Out?
As I discussed my initial vision of Christmas morning at home, I came to realize it is not a reality for our family. For one, we travel for most holidays as our family does not live in the same town as us. This meant Santa and the Easter Bunny travels to grandparents’ homes, as well as gifts, stockings, and/or Easter baskets. It meant realizing we may not have the opportunity to be “at home” for the holidays. I struggled with this concept for the first few years of Christmas, but I had yet to come up with a solution. I was most envious of friends who lived close to their families or who were always able to celebrate Christmas in their homes. I love decorating our home with lights and trimming the tree, but found myself disappointed when we were always leaving our home to travel elsewhere for the holidays. Fortunately, my daughter was young enough she would not remember not having holiday events at home, and I have a year or two to propose a solution. I realized it was not where we would be celebrating, but who we were celebrating with would be most important to us. My daughter would grow up remembering we celebrate Christmas surrounded by family even if it meant not being “at home for the holidays.”
Do Not Compare Yourself to Others…
In our world of social media, it is easy to compare what our holidays look like compared to others. I must admit I am quite envious of a few of you out there who are impressively creative with your elf magic this year! While I am secretly praying in the corner my daughter does not discover or request for her elf to appear, I challenge you to create those moments which are customized for your family. Create the joy and excitement your children and your family may look forward to year after year!
What Makes a Family Tradition?
Although we are looking past the holiday season, I do want to reflect on the benefits of creating family traditions. Whether it is a big extravaganza or simple family time at home. The moments you can share time with your family is what is most important. No one can judge your traditions, but yourself. There are moments you can call “a mom win,” while there are others we may find ourselves short of our expectations. Allow yourself the ability to change and modify as you may execute perfectly one year and completely sabotage the same idea the next year. I have to admit this advice is coming from myself who has huge expectations of myself, as this continues to be an opportunity for my personal growth. Regardless of what gift may be under that tree, my greatest gift each year is sharing the magic of the holiday season with my family. I hope each of you is able to share the warmth and love this season will bring your way!