holiday-Traditions-picEarlier this week I wrote a post for my blog about holiday traditions and promised to share any new ones I got throughout the week.  You can read that post here.  I didn’t get a lot of feedback in the comments section but I did get a nice note on Facebook from one of my new friends and I had someone share one of hers a couple of weeks ago, so I wanted to give you two new traditions to think about and possibly weave one or both into your holiday somehow.

My New Friend

Carol wrote: “Ya know one thing that I really miss? When I was little we would go to my ma and pa’s.. not only would we have a small Christmas present that santa left for me, my brother and two sisters but there would be a box under the tree wrapped on the outside with Christmas wrapping paper..but inside there were apples, oranges and all kinds of nuts. we would sit by the fireplace and eat from this box of special goodies that our grandma made for us as my dad played Santa and my grandpa read a Christmas story…. that was 50 years ago and oh how I long for just one more night sitting with my family under that tree and in front of that old fireplace…Merry Christmas Phyllis and Jon!”

What sweet memories these simple, but loving acts from her Ma & Pa have left her with.  A tradition doesn’t have to be a full-blown, all expense barred event.  It can be something as simple as gobbling up fruit and nuts by the fireplace and hearing a familiar Christmas story.  I can feel the warmth of the love in the room as I imagine the kids snuggled up with grandpa as he reads the story.

A Long-time Special Friend

A couple of weeks ago, I got this one from another friend for a Thanksgiving tradition her family shares but this one can also be used during ANY holiday, even a birthday celebration.

Cindy writes: “Our family gathers in the family room after dishes are done and we give each person a pen and paper to write what they are thankful for. We then put them in a bowl and a designated person pulls one from the bowl and reads it. We all then try to guess who wrote it. Then that person who wrote it elaborates a bit on why they wrote what they did. We all come away feeling like we know a little more about each person attending. Happy Thanksgiving!”

How cool would that be if you were sharing the holiday with a new family member present or people visiting that you didn’t know all that well?  Cindy and her husband have been Missionaries for many, many years so I know they have shared and passed this tradition along to many different people.  Probably more than they know. That’s the beauty of it.

Our Son

I asked my son the other day which traditions our family participated in that he recalled most fondly.

Here’s what he said: “Sleeping in.” I laughed when I read this because EVERY year…every SINGLE year…from birth to present…Jon and I anxiously get up and sit…and wait…for Justin to get up!  What kid can sleep in on Christmas morning?!?!  Ours did.  Still does.  Haha.

He said that the conversations around the dinner table were special to him.  We’re a family that lingers around the dinner table.  After all the effort that goes into preparing a big meal, it’s a shame to jump up and put it all away without lingering for a while and conversing with each other.

Justin also has fond memories of each of us cooking our own little something in the kitchen.  Justin has been interested in cooking from a very young age so he always had something he wanted to make for our special dinner so we would all three be busy in the kitchen.  It’s always rubbed me wrong when the men are all on their butts on the couch while the women worked their tails off in the kitchen, before and after the meal.  I never understood that and when I married Jon, he LOVED to cook and me, well, not so much.  So, it has always worked out great that he and Justin liked to cook.  I help of course when there’s a big meal to prepare and insist on cleaning up when I haven’t.

We deep-fried our turkey for a couple of years and Justin really enjoyed that whole process and the result was well…incredibly delish!  Unfortunately, dad was never up to cleaning up the mess after the oil had cooled so I would keep finding the deep fryer still sitting in our barn where he cooked it, covered in and full of oil even weeks after the holidays were over.  Needless to say, the fryer is no longer part of our collection of cooking gadgets.

So…let’s hear yours.  What are some of your family traditions at this time of year?