I love Christmas – it is my favorite holiday. And when I started thinking why I love it so much, I realized it’s because of all the Christmas traditions. Some of them I had since my childhood and some are brand new. Some have been changed a little while others stayed exactly the same. But they all have one thing in common – I look towards them every year. And this is why I want to share with you the three reasons why I believe everyone should create Christmas traditions.
Our lives get very busy, especially around Holidays. It is so easy to get pulled into the constant cleaning, gift buying, and food prepping. But I think it’s very important to make time to create little traditions that your families will enjoy. Because in the end, what really matters is looking back at this time a few years down the line and remembering the fun and meaningful things you go to do with you loved ones. Everything else will come second – or not really remembered at all.
So here is why you should spend time on creating Christmas or Holiday traditions with your loved ones.
1. Lifelong Memories
There are just some happy memories that you don’t forget. And Christmas is a perfect time to make those lifelong memories.
I think back to my childhood memories all the time. I grew up in Poland, where we had a special Christmas Eve Dinner with our extended families. It is our tradition to break Christmas wafers and exchange wishes for the next year. We than eat dinner that consists of 12 different dishes. The staples are: red borsch (aka beet soup :)), mushroom soup, a few different kinds of pierogi, fish, and potatoes. And fun fact: we don’t eat meat on that day.
I remember that as kids, our main job was to look for the first star on the sky – that was when the dinner was served. We also tried really hard to stay up till midnight when the animals were supposed to use human voices to communicate.
These things only happened once a year, but because they were repeated year after year they made lasting memories. And I want those types of memories for my kids as well. We still keep all these traditions (minus the first start because living in Chicago area, starts are sometimes hard to spot :)). And I still love them.
2. Stronger Bond with Your Loved Ones
You can bond with your loved ones over the smallest Christmas traditions. One of my favorite things to do with my kids is decorating the ginger bread house. It costs about $10 and it provides a couple of hours of fun. My kids are still small: 6 and 3, so our end product is not necessarily pretty, but it provides so much entertainment! We laugh and giggle as we get the icing all over our hands and have to constantly chase our dogs away as they are trying to eat all the candy.
Activities like that create stronger bonds simply because you get to spend quality time with your loved ones. It is something that is special for you and you family. It can be a cookie baking day, or going to pick a Christmas tree as a family, or maybe it’s spending the Christmas day in your pajamas.
Don’t think that your Christmas traditions need to be big. They can be very small – the important thing is that they come from a place of love. That is what your kids and loved ones will remember. That special bond that was created when you made them feel special by spending some quality time with them.
This is where I find Maya Angelou’s quote so relevant:
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
3. Unique Experience
The ultimate beauty of Christmas traditions, or any traditions for that matter, is that you can make them unique. You can take any typical tradition, and make it your own. Maybe it’s something silly like our elf of the shelf tradition. Our elf Alex came to our house for the first time this year. And while he typically is found in a different spot each day in other households, I had a feeling that might not always be the case in ours (mommy brain anyone?). So in our house, when Alex gets back each morning he tries to get back to his spot. But he is very forgetful and usually ends up in a different place. That way when my kids find him in the same spot two days in a row, they get excited that he has managed to find his way that day. It’s a win-win 🙂
Making the tradition your own by tweaking them a little bit is what makes them fun and memorable. And remember, don’t compare your traditions to those of others. That will only lead you down an unproductive path. I wrote about such comparison in my previous blog on imperfection. So if you like some traditions but you think they are too time consuming – change them a little. I promise it will be more fun.
Hope everyone enjoys their Christmas, or another Holiday, celebration. This time should be about God and family. So enjoy this magical time with your loved ones and make new memories.