Friday, December 28, 2007

A Family Tradition?

This year was the year of family traditions. I can be a little too legalistic about them sometimes, wanting to make something a tradition if you do it once and really like it. Saying that it should be a "tradition and do it every year". I think that some traditions are kind of hokey, and a little overdone, but then some are very fun. Now that our little girl is 3, it seems like we should be setting the traditions in place, being consistent from year to year, to make sure that we have them set. (see what i mean about the legalism?)

The first one we made was to get our Christmas tree on the first Friday of December. (Who knows if we'll really be able to keep that up)

Then, I got a gingerbread house that we decorated on Christmas Eve. We thought it would be fun to always do a Gingerbread house together - since none of us had ever done one before, and it was a fun family activity. You know, we could get better at it every year, and do more elaborate ones each year. I have these ridiculous visions of our kids being in their teens and twenties and still loving the Gingerbread house tradition. (yeah right)

Growing up, usually I got to open one present on Christmas Eve, so after taking a lengthy vote and trying to get the baby to nod his head in our favor, we decided to continue that tradition and all open one gift. He liked sitting on the present better, and tearing it open of course.

The regular things like stockings,

and birthday streamers and cake for Jesus on Christmas morning.

Watching Christmas movies and baking pies, reading Christmas stories, decorating, fun times opening presents on Christmas morning.

But you know, it gets to be a lot of stuff. Even the good stuff, gets to be a lot. And the more traditions you have, the more you do. And so, I think that what I want to make sure of, is being able to do fun things with our family, and if it's different every year, that's fine. I'd hate to be one of those people who make the family do the Gingerbread house every year, even though no one really wants to do it, but because it's "always" done, we have to do it. I'd much rather be flexible enough to just enjoy doing whatever it is that we all want to do.

My mom loved the much that many times we would go over the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, you get the picture. So Christmas at the beach is really great to me. I was very excited because this year, my husbands family decided to be all together at the beach. Something I love about their family is that they play games. And not just like Go Fish. Real games like Capture the Flag, beach miniature golf, relays, horseshoes, ping pong, Pit, Balderdash, Bocce, etc. One game that they always do at Christmas time is the gag gift game. It was my daughters first time playing, and she definitely enjoyed it. But that's why it's fun to do traditions. Not because it's the same thing every year, but because you all get to partake in a fun, out of the ordinary thing. And it's never about winning with them, or the competition. We will sometimes even do silly things like create such outlandish games that you totally mess them up, and then laugh until your sides ache. From the youngest to the oldest, we all will play, and just enjoy being together. It's those types of traditions that really create memories, and end of being the kind of valuable experiences that make you love getting together with family. I love that my kids get to be a part of such a fun family. Hopefully, we'll pass that on to them.

1 comment:

carly smith said...

can i tell you something.... your kids are part of a fun family. you are already passing that on, i can just tell.
mat and i have had fun establishing a few traditions over the past few years too. it's been fun to make traditions since it's just the two of us...we'll see how well we stick to them once there are more of us! traditions are fun. my family is flaking out on all their traditions since we moved away. kinda makes me sad! :(
i'm glad you and your fam had such a great christmas! love!