Just mention the word “tradition” and I immediately become giddy. Growing up, if Mom and Dad didn’t initiate a yearly tradition (you name the holiday) I would naggingly remind them.
Yes, I was that kid – the oldest, too (in case you couldn’t pick up on that).
Traditions are important to me! They symbolize stability, unity, and heritage. Traditions fill a home with value. Setting a tradition is a way of defining what a holiday is in our own home, rather than just going with others tell us holidays should be.
That being said, my husband and I don’t really have any traditions. We swiftly got married and moved five times in five years. Most of my holidays have been spent flying solo or me and my husband visiting family out of state. If we even have a tree, it’s taken down before Christmas and the only reason we get one to begin with is because I BEG my husband (he usually doesn’t see the point).
So this year, as we get ready to begin the holiday season with our firstborn child, I am taking the task of establishing traditions for our family very seriously. This is our year.
Traditions are usually dubbed traditions after a few years, but you have to begin somewhere, right? And no one ever talks about this – how do you begin?! It’s a big question that I’m willing to tackle (and drag my husband into – you’re welcome, Micah).
Here’s where we’ll begin:
- We will make a list of holidays and define what they mean to us. What do we believe? Why do we believe in celebrating it?
- Next, we will compile a list of things we did, we didn’t do, and liked or disliked for holidays growing up in our separate homes.
- We will take that list and decide what to keep or not keep (and why, if necessary).
- Talking with friends and gathering their ideas will be a part of this as well. We will discuss other friends’ traditions and pick and choose from those.
- Then, we will channel our passions and translate them into feasible traditions.
We will not over-commit; we will do what we choose well; and we will not stress if it’s not possible one year or another. I am committed to being as flexible as possible while building traditions in our home. I aim for tradition to be a happy word in our home, no stress intended!
If you’re interested in going through the process that my husband and I are going through, here is a free worksheet to help guide you on the journey of Establishing Traditions as a Young Family.
Tradition (sung loudly to the tune from Fiddler on the Roof) is a beautiful gift that I am determined to establish and pass on to our children. As a military family, just because we are transient and hard to pin down, does not mean we need to put this aside year after year. Let’s do it! And please share in the comments some fun traditions you do or have in mind!