Melanie Jeanne

Establishing Holiday Traditions


Tradition. Creating and developing traditions within our home is my top priority these days, with a three year old, its time. In my heart, tradition is the root of a happy childhood. Traditions are the behaviors taken into adulthood and remembered for a life time. Tradition is the comfort of home and the happiness within a heart and the memories of all the love and dedication my parents put into my life. Tradition matters to me in a huge way, especially holiday traditions.
It is hard to create traditions in a blended family; so many homes, so many schedules, so many traditions already developed that I cannot impact or change. But, blended families also have the beauty of starting new traditions together. Creating new magic with one another. I waited to develop traditions with Doodle until now for a couple reasons; 1. life was always changing and I didn’t know what would remain and what would change, 2. Doodle was too young to understand traditions & 3. my heart wasn’t settled and in a place to create traditions for anyone, let alone the ones I love most…
But, as life does, it always has a way of changing and settling and becoming peaceful. And so now, I start building traditions. Since I am an, all-up-in–my-head kind of girl, establishing traditions will be difficult for me due to the fact that I will most likely over-think them and think up a perfect scenario tradition in my head that will never play out in real life. But, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I believe I have started establishing some good starter traditions for our holiday seasons.
To reflect on Halloween – I generally don’t like silly decorations. I believe all decorations should have a purpose and look classy. Provide inspiration for the holiday, but not make a house look tacky. That all being said, I have very limited decor for Halloween. It is hard to find when I look for decorations with all my rules in place. Slowly but surely there will be decor. As far as Halloween traditions go… There are none. Doodle dresses up and has trick-or-treated in neighborhoods and at events. At the end of the day, I think Halloween is all about the art of dressing up and adding a little flare to ones house.
Thanksgiving – Again, decorations are quite limited, but growing and I have an idea of what they will look like when the whole “finding our dream house and having decorations for every holiday in bins in the garage” is complete. For now there is a wreath, an owl and candles. I will make a centerpiece for the table and of course cook something lovely. A tradition that has been developing since the Mr and I became a couple is simple. We have all our kids in the morning. They split the day with their other parents, so they leave mid-day for their second day of thanks with other family members. For us it has turned into a Thanksgiving brunch at our home and an intimate evening together once the kids depart. I like this tradition and feel that regardless if the timing is always perfect, it is a perfect approach to the holiday for our family. I want to cook on Thanksgiving and I want to share with my family why I am grateful. One of my childhood traditions was, once all were seated at the table, before eating we would all share what we were grateful for. This tradition will be resurrected.
Post-Thanksgiving holiday traditions – the day after Thanksgiving was never black friday in our family, it was always the day we decorated for Christmas and this tradition remains. This tradition has and will always remain. I think Thanksgiving is easily glossed over. It is the chute between Halloween and Christmas, but I think it is a very important holiday that should stand alone. Take the history out of it… It is a time to reflect on that which I am grateful for, leading into a season when one can easily get caught up in the “I want’s”, Thanksgiving is a great holiday to level set the “wants” before the holiday cheer takes over.
Some new traditions we are still establishing: Elf on the Shelf, Santa Sack, Letters to Santa, Baking Cookies, what Christmas dinner will be (the Mr and I hate ham), etc etc.
What are your holiday traditions? What are still being developed? What have you carried into your home from childhood?

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