The Real Mom Series is back again, and we're all sharing about holiday traditions that we are either beginning or have already started with our families. I definitely encourage you to read everyone's stories because they are all SO different. Getting diverse perspectives is one of my favorite things about this series. The Effortless Chic, Freutcake, A Daily Something, Parker, Etc., Sacramento Street, Apartment 34, The Refined Woman.
What if sometimes you had a tree on Christmas and sometimes you didn't. Would it "feel" like Christmas without the tree for you? What if you ate ham on Thanksgiving instead of turkey? Is it still Thanksgiving? What makes it Thanksgiving afterall?
When I sat down to write about this topic I thought I didn't have much to say because I didn't grow up with any traditions that we consistently did for the holidays other than the basic things such as opening gifts on Christmas, eating turkey on Thanksgiving and trick-or-treating on Halloween. That's all I have currently established for my kids too with the exception of also attending church on Christmas Eve.
At first I felt sad thinking about the fact that there was no baking tradition, special book I read, or football game I played, and that I haven't implemented that for my kids. But then I was realized I was feeling sad over expectations of having and doing certain things that come from things and people I don't even know. They come from Pinterest, they come from other families, they come from movies and magazines...I realized that being fairly "tradition-less" was a gift that my parents have given me because it has really freed me to not have major expectations for the holidays.
Sadly, the word "tradition" is often met with the word "expectation" in this day in age, and specifically in the United States where we have so much. Whether it be a child expecting to always bake cookies every Christmas or an adult making their kids bake cookies, I don't want to pass down the expectation of always doing that just so a holiday can feel like a holiday.
Instead, the "tradition" I would like to pass down to my children for the holidays is to simply contemplate the holiday they are about to celebrate and then celebrate how they want. Maybe it's throwing an insane birthday party for Jesus's birthday that's decked out with glitter and neon colors and maybe the next is to pick a family to give gifts to. All I know is that this year we plan to trick-or-treat as a family, host a yummy dinner for our extended family for Thanksgiving and this Christmas we may try the polar express. I just hope my kids experience the holidays for which they were intended and that is to have a blast on Halloween by being creative and eating candy, taking a moment to think about all they are thankful for and on Christmas celebrate the birth of their Savior Jesus Christ. If we bake cookies, watch a holiday movie, sing song and happen to ice skating that's so great. I'm all for it, and I think that's awesome that other families do those fun activities. I just hope that isn't the sum of traditions that make the holiday, but, rather, the holiday that brings about the acts of celebration.
Photo by Rennai Hoefer