Christmas Traditions – His, Mine, and Ours

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This year has been a tad bit exhausting – both for our family, and on a larger scale, for our country. This year more than ever I’ve found myself in need of the Holiday spirit.

The second Thanksgiving was over (ok maybe a teensy bit earlier), this was me.

I was itching to get the Christmas tree put up before December 1st even hit.

“Maybe we should buy a fake tree this year” my husband suggested.

“We’re getting a real tree” I replied quickly.

“A real one might die before Christmas…”

“We’re getting a REAL TREE.”

“… there’s always such a mess afterward.”

“I need the Christmas tree smell.”

“I think they have candles…”

“REAL TREE!”

So later that day we went to get a real tree.

For my husband it was a matter of practicality. For me, it was a matter of tradition. It was always a very classic, Santa-filled Holiday Season for me as kid, and there’s a warm, historically personal feeling attached to that. A big part of that feeling is the look and smell (needles and all) of a real tree.

 

This post sponsored by Responsibility.org. I am an ambassador for their #TalkEarly campaign.

 

The Holidays seem to be a time when many of us bring a little bit of our childhood back. It has me thinking about my own children and what Holiday traditions may stick with them into adulthood. I have a couple from my family, my husband has a couple from his, and we’ve inadvertently started some new ones of our own.

Every year our dogs are forced into reindeer antlers:

 

They love it, I swear.

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There is usually a child-made holiday hat of some sort that gets put on my head:

 



There will be always be Holiday glasses:

 

The annual drinking of nog out of moose glasses has begun.

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There will be a real Christmas tree, and cookies left out for Santa. There will be little carrots left out for reindeer, and the gifts that Santa leaves will be wrapped in special sparkly silver wrapping paper. There will also be the tradition passed down from my husband’s family of the Christmas Eve dinner, and the sharing of Oplatki. This one may be my favorite of all:

 

 

Every Christmas Eve we will each have a piece of this traditional polish, thin wafer. We will each break off a piece of each other’s wafers while whispering blessings to each other. Each person will get a chance to express well wishes, unconditional love, and forgiveness to each member of the family.

Of all the traditions we have, I hope my kids carry on the one of Oplatki the most. It’s the one that reminds me most of what the Season is about – the good in people, giving, and how truly wonderful it is to have the people we love in our lives.

It’s usually a simple choice to carry on certain traditions from childhood. We are not forced to repeat it after we’ve grown up… there are just some that become a part of us. Traditions are modeled for us by our family as kids, and hopefully the ones that stick are the ones that enrich our lives.

The Holidays are always a good reminder for me of the kind of person I want to be. I hope that at this time, as well as throughout the year, my kids witness behavior from me that reminds them to be kind, to take care of themselves, and each other.

Happy Holidays, my friends! May you celebrate your traditions with those you love, and find even more people to love in the New Year.

 

** This the last post of the year that is in partnership with Responsibility.org and their #TalkEarly campaign. It has been an honor to work with a team that aims to “empower parents to be confident about their own decisions regarding alcohol, model healthy, balanced behaviors, and create a foundation for starting conversations with their kids from an early age.” It is my hope that the connections I’m making with my kids now will help to make responsible decisions in the future. Feel free to visit the #TalkEarly page for more informations and to visit these past posts from this year:

Connection Is My New De-stressor

How Much Do 3rd Graders Know About Alcohol?

Summer Conversations

Friends, Fourth Grade, and Being the New Kid

Sip or No Sip – My Son Wants Just a Taste

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