All of us come to different stages of life and bumps in the road that cause us to rethink or remake our holiday traditions.
Probably the most hard won traditions are those of Christmas.
What makes them traditions is that we have done them year after year, Christmas after Christmas. They are ingrained in the fabric of our family.
So why remake your traditions?
- Anytime a family changes, folks marry, someone passes away, the family structure changes. Schedules change. And there may be a need for some or all of your traditions to change.
- As a family grows and matures in number and age, some of the traditions may be outgrown. These traditions might need to be modified.
- Anytime you have to change long held traditions, expect a feeling of grieving. You are losing or giving up something that was treasured and special to you for years and years. I suppose it’s a lot like giving up the sentimental items that we hold onto for so long. When you do finally get rid of something sentimental there can be sadness.
How can you remake your traditions?
1. Try to work some of your old traditions into your new Christmas Day plan.
Weave them throughout the day so that as you’re celebrating Christmas in a new way your old traditions are always there peeking through.
For example, maybe you no longer have stockings full of candies because everyone’s eating healthy now. Keep the stockings. Keep them hanging in their traditional spot. Find something new to stuff in the stockings to delight the family who is taking such good care of themselves.
It can be expensive to buy lots of small stocking stuffers. How about a new tradition of name-calling? Fill someone’s stocking with little slips of paper covered in loving names you would use to describe them.
2. Surprise the family with a new trial tradition.
I call it a trial tradition because this is your time to try out new things and see what works well in your new family dynamic.
For example, surprise them with a gingerbread house kit that everyone has to work on together or two gingerbread houses with a competition for best decorated.
Don’t worry if someone moans and groans when they see the gingerbread house kit. They’ll get into it more than anyone else and have a blast.
Decide if this was an enjoyable activity you want to keep for the next year. Don’t think beyond the next year. Remember you’re not looking for the next 50 year tradition. You’re just testing out activities that may or may not become one of your family’s new traditions.
3. Ask others.
Consult family members, individually, on their ideas for new traditions. You might be surprised at the ideas they come up with.
Ask other families like yours what some of their traditions are.
I have it on good authority that your traditions will change and morph continuously over the years.
Don’t be too sad about losing your treasured old traditions.
Remember them fondly. Bring out photos at your family Christmas celebration and remember those traditions with your family. Most of all remember that Christmas is what you make it and traditions are flexible if you are! Remember, your old Christmas traditions aren’t gone, they’re just in a box of 40 million unorganized photos. Hahahahaha!!
What Christmas tradition have you had to remake as your family changed?