Holiday Traditions- Creation to Blending

Growing up in a family that did similar things each Christmas season, I valued what became traditions to me. Opening one present on Christmas Eve, getting up early in the morning to see what blessings were under the tree, breakfast as a family, baking Christmas cookies, looking at Christmas lights and eating similar dishes during Christmas dinner. 

When I became a single mom, I vowed to create similar and new traditions for my son. I wanted him to be able to look back at his childhood and hold that close to his heart. Creating these traditions were fun for us and kept us feeling as joyful as we could even when some years were difficult. Living over 800 miles away from any family, we had to make the holidays our own because we weren't always going to be able to be with them.

I encourage all single parents to create traditions for your family.  Do something that each child will remember year to year. You'll be surprised how easily it becomes part of who they are during those times. Make sure those traditions don't include spending a lot of money because let's face it, some holidays are more difficult financially.

For my family, this season is new and has been interesting to say the least. The traditions that my son and I are used to are now embracing another person.  As we embrace him, we also are learning to mesh our traditions and expectations together. Decorating ideas and styles, picking the cookies to bake, learning what traditions are important to the other person...those are all areas we are focusing on this year. As you enter this season in a blended family, be sure to talk about what are important traditions for each of you.

Some traditions that we've taken up and might work well for your family are:

1) Drive around and look at Christmas lights. We like to do this on Christmas Eve with hot cocoa or cider.
2) Attend a Christmas Eve service.
3) Read the Christmas Story on Christmas Day.
4) Stick presents under the tree all month long. Pick one to open the night before. Our tradition is to open the PJ's presents the night before so we are all in new pajamas.
5) Sit by the fire (if you have one) and watch a Christmas movie.
6) Frost sugar cookies.
7) Send out Christmas cards.
8) Write joyful notes to neighbors and put them on their door.
9) While driving around looking at lights, place a note of thanks for the hard work that went into giving a show for all to see.
10) Pick one new ornament per person each year and place it on the tree. This is a great way to build an ornament collection for your kids as they grow so that when they move out, they are set with decorations for their own tree.

May you have every joy that this season can bring!

- Meg

1 comment:

  1. Sharing old traditions and creating new ones are gifts as we travel life's path. :)