When my husband and I first started sharing holidays together we had to find a compromise when it came to the traditions we enjoyed as children. We tried to do them all but for some issues we found ourselves clashing. The tree was number one. I liked colour coordinated, neat and tidy and real. He liked mismatch of decorations, lots of beads and garlands and fake. We ended up agreeing (-ahem- I managed to convince him) on a real tree and I let him have his fun with the decorations though it irked me every time I sat and looked at the tree!
Now that we have kids it has all changed.
We still get the real tree – small and sparse upstairs in the living room and we now have a ‘fake’ tree in the playroom decorated with all the non-breakable fun ornaments for the kids. I now look at the mismatched tree and love it knowing that my daughter has spent hours rearranging the beads all to one side and that the tree is miraculously not falling over! It somehow doesn’t seem ‘tacky’ to me anymore.
My husband and I find it more important than ever now to start out own traditions. We have fond memories of our childhood holidays but realize that we need to make new ones for our kids. They can enjoy our childhood traditions when they visit the grandparents. The kids have a cousin in the city and so it makes it easy to include the whole family in the traditions. We have Christmas eve dinner with them at their house and they come to us for Christmas day dinner. It’s nice to have that tradition every year that the kids have come to expect. It’s fun to see them excited about things they remember from the years before.
Other things we’ve now adopted as traditions since we’ve been repeating them every year are:
- Going to Heritage Park’s Once Upon a Christmas event
- Making homemade ornaments to send as gifts to all the aunts, uncles & grandparents
- Doing a peek inside the fishbowl’s 25 days advent
- We like to do the Griswold tree cutting as well. We found that the junior forest wardens have a lot that they run where you can go and cut a tree for about $5 while supporting them. The kids get to choose the tree and Daddy gets to feel all manly cutting it.
- Sliding with the kids on boxing day followed by hot chocolate and marshmallows
- Checking out the lights at zoolights or Airdrie’s festival of lights (or both)
- Watching the Christmas themed movies like Rudolph, Frosty, Mickey Mouse’s Christmas Carol, the snowman, Charlie Brown’s Christmas special and National Lampoon’s Christmas
How important do you feel traditions are with your kids and what traditions does your family have for the holidays (Christmas or any other holiday)? What new ones do you plan on starting this year?
Danielle is mom to a 3.5 year old daughter and 1.5 year old son and always looking for fun things to do with the kids. She blogs at Four Days Home.