My Experience with Creating New Family Traditions

It’s that time of year AGAIN. Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Christmas, you are now faced with all things holiday:  the good, the bad, and the ugly. I wanted to write about holiday traditions (or maybe the lack thereof.) It’s easy to get caught up in all the materialistic aspects of the season and forget what really matters. You may already have an unorthodox tradition you do with your family every year, but if you don’t, or would like another, hopefully this article can spark some creative inspiration to do just that.

I don’t know if it was because both of my kids were so young, but before last year we hadn’t started any special traditions. I started thinking about this large felt Christmas tree my parents hung on our dark brown paneled wall in the living room. It was an advent calendar, and every day I would pull an ornament out of the numbered pockets below it and place it on the tree. It was magical for me. So, last year, I purchased an advent calendar. It wasn’t a reusable one, but I loved seeing my kids get so excited to open each door every day, counting down the days to Christmas. I promised them we would now do it every year.

This year, we are starting another tradition. I caught the idea online, and it spoke to my book-loving soul. The 25 days of books tradition. You individually wrap 25 Christmas books and place them under the tree. Every day the kids get to open a book, and we will read it together as a family. I love it not only because it encourages reading, but because it forces us to stop and spend time together. Scholastic has great buys on bundles of holiday books, which I would recommend if this is something you would like to start with your family. And, for a bonus, we will have the kids donate the books after the season is over.

With all the hubbub and craziness that this time of year brings, taking the time to make lasting memories with your family can make it all worthwhile. Aside from lighting your Christmas tree, menorah, or kinara, finding something that can add quality time for your family is quite simply the icing on the cake.  Here’s to creating a little extra magic this holiday season.