“‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there…”
Dressed in my flannel pajamas, sitting cross-legged on the floor, I listened intently as my dad read the story. It was easy to imagine the children nestled in their beds, but I wasn’t sure if seeing sugar plums dancing in my head would actually put me to sleep. My favorite part was my dad’s imitation of Santa.
“He had a broad face, and a little round belly that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.” My dad shouted out a big Ho-Ho-Ho!
As the story came to a close, I imagined hearing the jingle bells on Santa’s sleigh, so I rushed upstairs to go to bed. I didn’t want him to find me awake and then not leave me any gifts in my stocking. But before heading upstairs, I made sure to leave milk and cookies for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer.
[Spoiler Alert!] I wasn’t upset to find out that Santa Claus was make believe because my parents also told us about the birth of Christ. We attended the candlelight service at church where we sang several Christmas carols. On the way home, we drove through a few neighborhoods to see the colorful light displays. Back home, Dad shared the story about the birth of Jesus from the Bible, and then each of us opened one gift.
These family traditions have held on through the generations. It’s fun to relive them but also add new ones.
Why it’s important to pass down your traditions
Remember as a child when each school year took forever to get from September to June? But now as an adult, we wish the days would slow down, giving us more time to enjoy them. There never seems to be enough time in a day to get all the things done on our list. That’s why it’s important to carry traditions from one generation to the next — to keep the family stories alive and thriving.
Many special days carry traditions with them. Such as on my birthday, I would open my presents in the morning. It was always fun to go to school in a new outfit or have a new toy to talk about. Growing up, I enjoyed our egg hunting on Easter, cheering on my brothers as they played football outside on Thanksgiving, and watching the Rose Bowl parade on New Year’s Day.
Many family traditions start after Thanksgiving and go into the new year. This holiday season can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year. Making plans to spend time with friends and family will only enhance the celebration.
Traditions can be adapted to fit your situation
So how do you know which traditions to keep and which to set aside? There’s no general rule, but it is important to share them all and let future generations decide which ones to carry on.
One tradition I had as a child was to open one present on Christmas Eve. I continued this with my children. Now my daughter does it with hers, only she adapted it to include a friend’s tradition of making that first gift a new pair of Christmas pajamas.
Start by making a list of all the traditions your family has done over the years. Ask your friends what their favorites are too. Then, gather those in your household to look over the list and decide which one tradition you will adopt this year. It could be as easy as one tradition per holiday or just at Christmas time. The next year add another one. Keep the master list in a file online so you can return to it to add new ideas.
Another way to capture your traditions is to take photos of you doing them, whether it’s caroling at a local nursing home or decorating cookies with the kids. Preserve your memories for generations in a picture and then put them in a scrapbook or an album. I can help you get started when you purchase your memory making supplies on my website. You can shop the latest and greatest scrapbooking products to find a variety albums with colorful pages, embellishments, and stickers. To make it easy, use one of the predesigned albums or the new Christmas Past Collection which includes everything you need to complete an album in only an hour or two. Or check out the digital artwork for your digital scrapbooking projects. Why not create a stunning holiday album to start a new tradition this year?
Lifetime traditions starts with you
Even if you live alone, you can still create traditions to share with family members and friends. If you do, you will create something that will last a lifetime.
Traditions are about sharing a connection from one generation to the next and adding to the family legacy. The things you do with others will be remembered and add joy to your holiday.
By starting a tradition this holiday season, you’ll be on your way to creating memories that live beyond your years. Then, capture those special moments in a keepsake album to share with generations to come. Join my Creative Memories Facebook group to get scrapbooking ideas, announcements of new products, special pricing, and enter contests to win free merchandise.
Share your favorite Christmas tradition in the comments below and perhaps you’ll find a new one there as well.