Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Traditions

I've been thinking recently about the ways in which my parents and my two sisters and I celebrated Christmas over the years.  

The traditions we had.  The books we read. The activities we participated in. The recipes we used. The songs we sang. 

A handful of holiday rituals really stick it out in my mind:

Like leaving cookies and milk out for Santa.  And, of course, carrot sticks for the reindeer.   

And baking loaves and loaves of pumpkin bread.

And listening to the Carpenters Christmas album.

And reading Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Sweet Smell of Christmas

In addition to remembering my first family's Christmas traditions, I also asked Brian about the fun holiday traditions that he and his sister and parents shared.  

Brian mentioned two traditions they had: 1) enjoying eggnog milkshakes after shopping for their Christmas tree and 2) watching several classic Christmas shows like A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman

I love both of these holiday rituals.  So much so, that this year, Brian, Noah and I bought milkshakes after purchasing our tree, and we've watched a few Christmas shows as a family.  In fact, I can honestly say that some of my happiest moments this month have occurred snuggled up on the couch with Noah and Brian, watching Christmas classics. 

That's not to say that Brian and I are going to take on ALL of our first families' traditions.  Some of them will work for our family of three, but others may not. 

And as Noah grows older, it will be interesting to see which traditions remain, which will be tweaked and personalized to fit our family's needs, and which brand new traditions will be created.

For instance, I've seen several friends' families (on Facebook) taking their young children out for a spin in the car, hot chocolate in hand, to check out the lights in the neighborhood.  That's something I think Noah would love to do this year--and probably, in future years. 

Now, granted, Noah is not yet two years old, so he doesn't really fully appreciate these Christmas traditions.  But I'm hopeful that in the years to come, Noah will truly enjoy these traditions.  And that in doing these activities as a family year after year, we'll foster a sense of security and togetherness and family pride.   

And maybe, just maybe, years from now, (when I'm white-haired and super feisty and zipping around the nursing home on my Segway!), Noah will carry on a few of these Christmas traditions with his own little family.

Your turn: What was your favorite Christmas tradition growing up?  Or what is your favorite tradition now?

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