What is a holiday tradition? Does it depend on the perfect attendance and completion each year to qualify? Must it be an organized activity?
I have a couple traditions that might not seem like such a big deal to others.
I hide all the Christmas books. I carefully put away each and every Christmas book, wrap them in the holiday-themed tablecloth and pack them away with the ornaments at the end of the holiday. This ensures that each year when they are brought out, they are something to be respected. We carefully open each of the pages and point out all the little details in each illustration. They have survived many years now, carefully hoarded for 11 months of the year and they will be treasured for many more years to come.
I don’t put presents for my children under the tree before Christmas morning. We put presents there for extended family -- grammas and grampas, cousins and aunties, even moms and dads. My children get their presents from Santa, delivered in the middle of the night, after all the excited little children finally fall sound asleep at the end of a long and busy day.
We leave carrots out for the reindeer, right beside Santa’s cookies. We know Santa isn’t going to bring his reindeer into the house, so we rely on him to take these treats out to them. And if Santa really wants to, I guess he could eat the carrots and take the cookies to the reindeer ...
I also have my private family traditions -- these I won’t share with you. Someone recently remarked that I “let it all hang out” on the Internet, but truly I don’t, and I won’t.
If you don’t have a tradition, start one -- it is fun to create something that lasts. It could be as silly as making a snowman over the school break, or as serious as attending midnight mass as a family. It doesn’t have to be family oriented or religious-themed. Create a unique date night for you and your spouse, separate from the family activities that are sure to follow.
I recently asked a friend what her holiday tradition was. She responded that she was a Jehovah’s Witness, and didn’t celebrate the Christmas holiday. This stumped me for a moment, but I believe I will have to start a non-holiday tradition with her as I would like to invite her and her children to my place during the holidays. Not to celebrate a religious theme, but to celebrate a get-together of friends.
Christmas, holidays, traditions, religions, political correctness or festivus, whatever it may be -- if none of this applies to you, just try to remember the common underlying theme. Just be kind to people and encourage others to do the same.