I would like to think for many families the topic […]
I would like to think for many families the topic of family traditions gets brought up regularly around the holidays. This is true for Matt and me, and it has become especially exciting to think about now that we have Bellamy. Neither of us grew up with super strong traditions (the kind you either love dearly or feel oppressed by as an adult), so we have been trying to think about what we want to do together to hopefully start traditions and make lasting memories for our family.
Over Thanksgiving my aunt mentioned to me she barely remembers anything from her childhood. I was glad to hear I am not alone in this because I often feel I have the same problem! I don’t have set expectations of the holidays because I have a hard time remembering what we did, whether it was consistent or not. I know expectations easily meddle in the fun and relaxation of the holidays and can create an environment of dread, but it’s really important to me that I offer Bellamy and any future children something to look forward to each year.
We like the idea of easy traditions—ones that may be unconventional to some, but ones we know won’t create stress once its time to execute the “plan.” At this point in my life, I don’t really want to be in the kitchen all day worrying about my table scape. I don’t want the separation, the awkward small talk or the feeling of “I am obligated to be here” to ruin the vibe. I want it to always be fun! I want my kids to know there’s a place they can go where the main point is to see each other, to know each other well and delight in the rare time we all get to see and love on one another. Some of my favorite times during the holidays are after people start leaving and the sense of peace returns to the home. I find it’s the time where I really get to catch up with others.
Bellamy is so young and will not remember this year or the next, but we have started compiling a list of possible traditions to start regardless of her age. We live in Atlanta, and there is a Christmas attraction at our mall called the Pink Pig (of all things). I always noticed families standing in line with their very excited children to ride this big, bright pink Christmas pig. The whole thing sounds ridiculous, but there’s something very endearing about it, too. I can’t wait to take her! The Ritz in Buckhead does a Christmas tea with Santa that I honestly probably rolled my eyes at in the past, but now I wish I had a ticket. I like the idea of Chinese food on Christmas Eve, decorating the tree while watching Elf for the millionth time and enjoying my time as opposed to just getting through it.
As our family grows, our desires may change. Maybe one day I will send Christmas cards, have that one side dish everyone asks me to bring because we “make it the best,” and care about the big Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Maybe one day I will change my mind about making Mexican food for Christmas … maybe! I would like to say this in no way is this meant to discredit the wonderful things my family does for the holidays. I am so grateful for their hard work and investment of every family gathering. I just have the desire to do things differently amongst the three of us. It’s true the “magic” of the holidays returns when you have a baby. I definitely feel like a little kid again, and I just can’t wait to begin!