A couple of weeks ago my Indo girl (I call her that because she and her husband live in Indonesia) called me and said, “Mom, I just need to know are we having our traditional Prime Rib Christmas meal?” I quickly replied, “Absolutely!” Her response, “Great, cause if we weren’t, I wasn’t coming home for Christmas!”
This is the very reason that when my kids were young, I felt compelled to start family traditions. I wanted a bond of connectedness to be prevalent throughout the generations to come.
I grew up in a family where traditions were a big deal and I experienced the strong family bond that traditions created. Being with family was always the root of wanting to gather together, but the traditions allowed the memories to form and be revisited, and the laughter to freely flow, often around those traditions.
As a grandparent now, I am already beginning to see evidence of those traditions being passed down generationally. When I was a young girl my grandma would make cut-out molasses cookies- it just wasn’t Christmas until those had been made. Now my Indo girl is making those same traditional Christmas cookies halfway across the world to bring that special Christmas feel to her home.
There were traditions that I brought into our family from my childhood, like the advent calendar depicting the days until Christmas arrives. My baby girl (I call her that because she is my last baby, but she is really almost 18!!) wakes up every morning and first thing, moves the date on the advent calendar. I have such joy in seeing her simple pleasure in doing that tradition.
Other traditions I developed as a young mom. When my oldest was a baby, I dressed him up in a little Christmas outfit and took him to take a picture with Santa. 28 years later, I have pictures of my kids sitting with Santa as teenagers, young marrieds and even as parents themselves. The tradition has changed such that I no longer dress them up and do bribe them with a nice dinner out! 🎅🏼
Although the traditions I am sharing are centered around Christmas, many other traditions happen throughout the year. At Easter we have a jelly bean spitting contest were the youngest to the oldest can participate; on birthdays we wake the special birthday person by singing 🎼Happy Birthday; we have a “snow party” on the first day it snows, and many other fun traditions – celebrating life and creating memories.
I hope this Christmas you take time to reflect on some of the traditions you have as a family or consider starting some new traditions that can be passed down to your generations.
I’d love to hear what your traditions are – Christmas or otherwise.
Building legacies together,