If you have had a childhood anything like mine, your family has traditions... lots of them! Now, I don't mean to say that with resentment at all, because though I often roll my eyes, I love them, and I wouldn't want to do the holidays without them.
Often, we take the holiday season for granted. It's a season to celebrate love, family, and if you're religious, God. Traditions remind me how lucky I am to have my family and friends. I'm excited to start my own traditions soon, but I want to share some of the fun traditions that I've had ever since I was a little kid.
We always have Thanksgiving at my parents' house, and it's fun to have everyone over! One of my favorite traditions though is before everyone arrives. My immediate family joins together to eat cinnamon rolls and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while we begin to prepare the feast we are about to enjoy. It's relaxing, and even though this will be my last year living at my parents' house to do that, I hope to always continue to be with family to watch the parade the morning of Thanksgiving.
Leading up to Christmas, my family is "that family" that goes to so many parties. It can be tiring, but one party I know I will never miss is what we call Pebble Creek night. We meet up at one family's house for appetizers and get hot cocoa or apple cider in our to-go mugs, then walk around this street in the neighborhood that is decked out with Christmas lights (mostly Disney themed, so we often call it Disney street too). We end the night by going to another family's house in the neighborhood for dessert. It has become one of my favorite holiday traditions, even though most of the lights are the same every year. Seeing Christmas lights could never get old to me.
My family laughs at me on Christmas morning because they claim I have a "little kid heart." Well, that's not so bad, if they're implying that I'm excited to wake up for gifts and celebratory times. I love mornings too, which is a plus. One of my favorite traditions is what happens the night before Christmas day though. Every Christmas Eve, we find time to all sit down together and open up one special gift. Of course, it may be silly that my mom wraps them still because we all know that they are our Christmas pajamas. We all go put our pajamas on and then typically watch a holiday movie before saying goodnight. It's fun (and now kind of funny as adults) to see everyone in their holiday jammies.
They may be simple, and they may sound silly, but traditions are a lot like collecting something. With traditions, you just happen to be collecting memories instead of materials. I love looking back on all the different years, and how the experiences seemed so different even though it was the same activity. Life changes so quickly. One year it's just your sisters and parents; the next it's your sisters, new brother-in-law, niece and parents; this year it will be my sisters, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and fiancé. With everything changing, it's nice to have some constant in the fun traditions we all share together, and why not continue sharing things with all the new additions to the family?
It seems a little pre-emptive, but Happy (Almost) Holidays! I hope you enjoy your family traditions, or maybe make some of your own this year to share with your friends and family. 'Tis the season for merry and many traditions!