Good morning! Hello, Mamma. Happy Saturday. Do you have some traditions teed up and ready to go for the holiday season?
Traditions are precious family memories in the making. More than that, traditions are a way to tell your kids, “This is who we are. This is what we do.” Traditions show your kids what you value. It gives them something to tell their friends at college when they are describing their family. “In my family we…”
If you don’t have a tradition yet, make one! Create it! Pull it out of thin air and make this Year One.
Some of my family’s precious traditions:
* We write down what we are grateful for and make a Thanksgiving wreath out of it. (One year we wrote it on placemats, but I like the wreaths better, no gravy stains.) I keep the wreaths from years past and I love them dearly.
* Food, of course the food. Some of our recipes date from the 1930’s. Making the food together is as important as eating it.
* Candy cups with name tags. A favorite activity for the kids. One year they added a statement of something they love about each person on the name tags. My mom kept the one that said, “Nana, she laughs a lot,” for years.
* A Christmas cookie exchange, girls only. The boys go bowling and come back at the tail end of the party to complain about how they were left out and to eat the cookies.
* The Advent wreath. Candles at the dinner table? Heck yes. Just be prepared for someone to ask if they can set their napkin on fire. (I said no.)
* Christmas coupons. Started one year when money was tight. Now a Christmas favorite. “You can stay up 1/2 later. I will bring Chipotle to school for lunch. Cheeseburgers for breakfast! Let’s go for a walk. I will do your chores this week. Good for one snack. You get to pick the movie.” Also a way to tell your kids that you know who they are. “Jane Austen marathon” for my daughter. “Field trip to the Maserati dealer!” for our sons.
* Daddy makes breakfast on Christmas Eve morning. Homemade square waffles. They take forever and make a terrific mess. We stay in our pajamas and the house smells great and the kids know this is a special morning.
Who are you? Who do you want to be? What do you want your kids to value, remember, look forward to?
Give it some thought today, Mamma.