Holiday Traditions

I live for this time of year! I love the holidays, and everything that comes with this busy, crazy time.  It tends to be the busiest time of year in my industry, and yet, I don’t mind kicking everying into hyper:drive to get to fit it all in.

Holiday Season in 3, 2, 1 … GO!

In our home, there are the things we ALWAYS do and somehow the list of things we USED to do is growing.  I know it is just a side effect of family dynamics changing, but I try desperately to hold on to some of the traditions, while we gently let other ones evolve.

We ALWAYS make our caramels (this year Patrick did them start to finish by himself and THAT is a BIG job!)  We always have way too many gifts. We always follow Jasmine’s wrapping protocol (or else!), and we always run all over the place and make sure we sneak the time in with those we love.

We USED to do the 12 days of Christmas (read above:  we always have way too many gifts, and this just might be the genesis of that.)  We used to open one a day each day during the 12 days, and spread out the cheer.  When Mickey moved out, we kept it up.  When Jasmine went to college, we did it via FaceTime, and somehow, as the kiddos started to disburse, we lost that piece of our tradition.

One of my favorite decorations is a sign that reads:  THE KIDS HERE ARE: and at the bottom has a board that can be moved to read NAUGHTY or NICE.  When then kiddos were little, a constant battle ensued.  Jasmine couldn’t bear to have it say NAUGHTY, and Mickey saw that as a challenge! 🙂

No one really fights to flip it back and forth any more, but I LOVE seeing it, and remembering those days.

We have a tradition of critiquing Christmas Light displays.  If it’s a job well done – well, “that man is obvously an excellent father.” If there is a small sprinkling of lights on one certain area, that’s a “Why Bother” and God Forbid you use all different colors of lights and just generally throw up Christmas on your front lawn. Nope. That’s a “MISH MOSH!” (Of course, we have no lights outside, so we are completely unqualified to judge, but what’s the fun in that!?

So many more things come to mind: The cookies we always bake. What goes under which tree, the pierogies my dad always gets for me from the church, the lump of coal I always pull out and revel in the story/memory.  Our matching stockings. The “one person at a time” gift opening routine.  I cherish this time of year, and the things our family has made so special.

When in England earlier this year, one of the guards at the Tower of London spoke about tradition. He said that when it comes to tradition, you absolutely cannot waiver. You cannot miss it even a single time, for then it becomes too easy to set aside, and the important tradition(s) can be lost forever.

I so agree. I so get it. And yet the memories of some of those things that we had to change over the years, are marked in my memory and on my heart.

You Heard the Lady,


p.s. I  am also absolutely fascinated with  other people’s traditions. What’s your favorite?




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