Christmas Traditions

Purposeful Parent Tip:  Create your own holiday traditions with your children.

For all of my life, I have celebrated Christmas at my parent’s house. Every year it has been the same tradition. Christmas Eve is when we share a meal and open gifts. Christmas Day is a big dinner of home-made ravioli’s, roast beef and all the trimmings, fresh-baked bread, and yummy desserts. There was one year however, that this was not the case.

My mom had undergone hip replacement surgery and was in the hospital at Christmas time. Since my dad and none of my brothers and sisters wanted to celebrate without her, we decided to postpone Christmas until she could participate. That year, my children and I stayed home. For the first time in my life, I would not wake up on Christmas morning in my parent’s house.

What was I going to do? I’d not started any real Christmas traditions of my own because we’d always gone to my parent’s house and celebrated with my family. Even when I was married, we still made the trek to Long Island every year. I had no fancy Christmas dinner planned or special desserts. I did have a tree and gifts however. And of course, I had my kids, so what else do you really need? While it didn’t have all of the hoopla of my Christmas days in the past, it was still a nice day. Quieter than usual, but nice.

As I prepare to head to Long Island to celebrate this year’s Christmas Day, I am filled with gratitude. I’m thankful that my dad is still here with me and my family. I’m eternally grateful that he and some of my siblings took on the huge job of preparing the home-made ravioli and bread. (I’m certain my mom is smiling down on us today!) And I’m feeling very blessed that my children get to share another Christmas holiday the way I remembered them as a child.

I suspect there will come a day when this tradition may not be possible again and so I have begun to think about the kind of Christmas I’d like to have. Will it be filled with cookies and breads or will I take a short-cut and head to the local pie store? Will I prepare a sumptuous feast or will it be something simple like turkey and the trimmings?

Whatever it is, I want it to have that element of “tradition”  so that my children can take
it onward when they have their own kids.

Merry Christmas everyone.




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