Christmas was an ever changing thing at our house growing up. My parents each had a different family tradition growing up, so we inherited both. One year we would open all our presents Christmas Eve and save Santa’s for the morning. The next year we opened everything Christmas Morning.
What I love about traditions is they make average holidays something deep and personal. It’s something to look forward to. They bring family and friends together. They teach children consistency and the importance of family. They help us honor others and show our love. They help us preserve our heritage.
There are traditions for holidays or average days of the week. (Taco Tuesday anyone?) The best thing about traditions is that if you don’t have any, you can start one today, tomorrow, next week, or the next upcoming holiday.
Here are just a few of our family traditions:
Cold chicken nuggets on the 4th of July. My mom always stayed up late on the 3rd frying chicken. She put it in a paper bag and tucked it away in the fridge. We took it to family barbecues and it was always one of the first things to go. I don’t know what it is about cold chicken, but it just screams summer to me.
Polar Express. On a random winter night in the weeks before Christmas, we get our kids ready for bed – jammies, teeth brushed, books, etc. When they get in bed, they have train tickets waiting under their pillows. We load them up in the van in their jammies with a mug of hot cocoa. We drive around looking at Christmas lights and listening to the Polar Express Soundtrack.
Friday Night Movie Night. We do this every week. EVERY WEEK. We lay out a giant hideous blanket on the living room floor, then sit on it to have pizza and watch a movie. It used to be Friday Night Pizza Night, but my daughter got so sick of pizza we branched out and changed it to Movie Night.
On the first snow of the year, we make cookies.
This happened two days ago. My husband came home from work and said, “What?! No cookies?” I face palmed it, then got to work. It was 5:30. We hadn’t even started on dinner, but we were having those cookies if it killed us. This is the first year our kids have been old enough to help.
And boy did they help! I measured the ingredients and they poured them in. They’re favorite part was sneaking chocolate chips and being crazy. I can’t say that I blame them. That’s my favorite part too.
What I loved about sharing this tradition with the kids was how excited they were to be doing something out of the ordinary.
There are millions of traditions you can have, especially around the holidays and pertaining to school. Keep them up, they’re important to your family. Don’t have any? Start new ones.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?