When the kids were very small, I wanted to be sure that we began some traditions that were ours. Something that we would take ownership of and look forward to every year in our little family unit. These special things we'd add to the repertoire of festivities we grew up with to create wonderful family memories.
One of those new family customs is heading out each year with some good friends to hunt for and cut down our Christmas trees. This day always seems to be highlighted by trudging through snow of various depths, followed by teeth chattering, frozen fingers and toes, excitement as all of the boys (and Sidney) take their shot's at trying to raze the tree, and topped off with a hot cup of cocoa. Today was the day this year, and amazingly the first year with nothing but a few scant patches of the fluffy stuff (mostly ice now) on the ground.
We've tried several different locations, experienced varying levels of comedy, and I don't think we've found the perfect place yet. We've gone from someone's home out in the boonies, who didn't have the supplies we needed to get the cut trees home. Can you say improvisation?? To a well run, yet very expensive place whose trees seemed to drop all of their needles within 48 hours of getting them home. Then this year's location, something very much in between. We'll keep trying, because... it's tradition. And as Sidney expressed today: "Why would we go and get a tree that someone else has cut down? What good is that?" It's tradition, it's what's expected by my kids from their memories of their childhood (even though their still children:)
Another ritual that I began very early was the Christmas pajamas. Each Christmas morning, the kids have brand new pajamas laying on their beds, waiting for them to slip into before they head downstairs. The first year I did this was when Sidney was 2. At that time princess nightgowns all came in big girl sizes. She still wears that purple princess one, now a thread bear rag. It's gone from full length to mini in six years. I guess I should have thought this tradition through. Come to think of it, neither of the kids will let me get rid of Christmas Jammies past. Hmmm maybe I need to learn how to quilt and make something from them....
I say all of this in reminiscent discussion of what we do and to get ideas of things to come. I love tradition. Music, magic, dreams, wishes, stories, folklore, wistfulness, all of those things that make you feel warm and at home. What are some of your traditions?
*I can't say the word tradition, without thinking of Tevye singing about it on Fiddler on the Roof! :)