Traditions, every family has them. Whether you realize it or not, they started when you were a child. I never really realized, but we did have a little structure to the craziness of the holidays. Little events throughout the month that we looked forward to and counted on. Like staying in your PJs all day to watch football on New Year’s Day or getting an orange at the bottom of your Christmas stocking. Doesn’t Santa do that for everyone who was good? If you were bad it would be a lump of coal. As a kid you don’t question any of these things, you just assume this is how life is, what everyone must do. With marriage comes a blending of traditions. Now with our own little brood I am noticing we are starting our own, things I hope the kids will enjoy, look forward to and maybe even take with them in life one day without us. Like making a calendar for the upcoming year for the family with photos of our year’s events. I keep these so the kids can look back on them one day and see photos of their childhood and how they have grown. We make Christmas cookies as a family, and also make reindeer food (muddy buddies) just so Rudolph keeps up his strength for the long journey ahead. We did family PJs this year, as much as my hubby groaned at the silliness of it, I did notice he was one of the first in them and last out of them. I think this would be a fun one to keep going. We go through the neighborhood to see lights, we crank up the tunes and go see everyone’s hard work. We always read Twas’ The Night Before Christmas before going to bed.
Now that our family is complete, I am also noticing how quickly time passes and how fast our last firsts approach. This year marks the last creation of the Christmas ornament for our new baby, this was our third one in four years. We are now experts at making hand molds and using a toothpick to carve the baby’s name and date. The last time we buy a “My 1st Christmas” onesie and quite possibly the last time we have a non-walking child who’s gifts remain unopened until the next day because we didn’t have time to get to them.
Traditions are sentiments. They may not seem like it at first, but they are sentimental and as silly as some may be (remember the oranges in the stockings?) they do make us feel at home. My mom tirelessly needlepoints Christmas ornaments for each of her (now 5) grandchildren. It takes her almost the entire year, but she does it so that the kids will have a special ornament each year on the tree. These ornaments will be cherished not only by me, but hopefully also by them. Just as like the wooden cat ornament my grandmother gave me when I was a kid with my name on it. Every time we got the decorations out, I looked for that ornament and remembered special times with my Nana.
Trying to bottle all of these memories and moments that so quickly pass us, I am proud to be bringing fourth into the world a vehicle for parents to record these childhood memories for their children. From: ME To: YOU is another family tradition we have created. A letter for each year of our baby’s childhood, which they will receive when they are 18. They will never remember this was the year that Santa brought them the Outdoor Playhouse, but we will record it for them. A time capsule of love and memories they will have forever.
As we enter that time of year where we start fresh, we make resolutions and we have that overall feeling of hope and possibility of new accomplishment. Remember you don’t have to be perfect, because it is in the imperfection that true memories are made. Here is to 2017 and all that lies ahead.