Relationships: How To Create New Holiday Traditions With Your Family
Christmas traditions are an important part of the holiday season. Sometimes we get so entrenched in the same traditions year after year that we forget to let others create new traditions with us. I'm guilty of this for sure.
Mom's love to run the show. We make sure the tree is up, the lights are out of the attic, and the moving reindeer are in the yard. Doing the same thing every year provides comfort to many of us. But this year, why not try something different?
Go ahead, (if you dare) and ask your kids to create a new Christmas tradition. Find something that is unique to your own family. One mom I know grew up in a household with a fake tree. She kept this tradition and each year dragged out the artificial tree, marveling at the cleanliness of her living room. She never considered changing the tradition until her children begged to visit the tree farm!
I love the Thanksgiving tradition of a sit down meal. This year I decided to do something different and take the kids to feed the homeless. It wasn't easy to give up the family meal and cozy table, because the tradition was one of the calming memories I recall from my childhood.
For the last eight years, I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner. This year I took the kids to serve the homeless instead. We sat around a dinner table with homeless men and women and prayed, ate a fabulous turkey, and talked just like a normal family would. It was a moment the kids will always remember. I let go of an old tradition and I believe we have started an entirely new one.
This year, I am letting the kids join in every aspect of the holidays. They are baking, (the kitchen turns into a disaster when a six year-old makes the pies), making christmas gifts, and decorating the house. My eight year-old put toy cars on the tree this year. My six year-old made cherry, pumpkin, and blueberry pies because he wanted to bake them.
When it came time to decorate the tree this year, I stepped away from tradition of orchestrating a moment with the family that resembled the movie It's A Wonderful Life. My kids used their creativity because I encouraged them to discover it. The tree doesn't look perfect, but it's ours.
You don't have to give up all your holiday traditions. I still haven't caved in my "tradition" of all white lights for the multi-colored ones the kids wanted, but who knows. Maybe next year I will change my mind.
What new traditions can you create this year with your family this holiday season? Please feel free to share some of your ideas!
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Tammy Kling is a life coach, advocate for the homeless, and international author of 29 books including The Compass. Tammy is also the founder of Write it Out, an organization that helps gang members, the homeless, and those living on the street write out their hopes & dreams via writers workshops, free journals and various other resources.
In addition to writing and coaching, Tammy is a mom of two boys, an avid trail and mountain runner, blogger, and adventure travel writer.