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Creating New Traditions

It’s the season I wait for all year. As the leaves fall from the trees and the temperature drops, I’m one of the few people I know who really doesn’t mind that it’s dark at 5:00 p.m. Sure, I struggle with the time change (when are we getting rid of that, by the way?). But all of these are signs that the holidays are approaching. Like many, I have a lot of fond memories of the holidays as a kid. I always looked forward to the entire family playing Trivial Pursuit after Thanksgiving dinner. My grandpa always knew every answer. In December, I would fight my brothers for a window seat in my dad’s car as we drove around looking at Christmas lights. I celebrated Channukah with my family and got to spend Christmas with two of my childhood best friends. It was always a magical time.

Now that I’m older and have two kids of my own, I realize that the magic of the holidays came from what we did instead of what we got. Sure, I loved my purple glitter inflatable chair and my WaterBaby as much as any kid. But, when I look back on the holidays, I don’t remember the gifts, I remember the traditions. And now it’s my turn to start my own holiday traditions with my family. Although the pandemic has made the past few years a bit more difficult, we have already started to find ways to bring the magic to our kids. My extended family started doing Thanksgiving themes a while back, and it was a hit! A few years ago, we landed on a pajama theme, and we’ve never looked back! My husband, myself, and now my kids love picking out our favorite pajamas to cozy up in and play with the family. We still love driving around looking at Christmas lights, although I’m not sure if my kids or my husband and I enjoy this more. I’ve already purchased our matching Mickey Mouse family pajamas and have them hidden away for Christmas Eve. I’m excited to have my 3-year-old help my mom and me make latkes for the first time.

We’ve had a rough few years as a society. Being a parent to small kids, in the midst of a global pandemic, has brought more challenges than I ever anticipated. That’s why I think it’s more important than ever for me to create these (hopefully) lasting traditions for my family. My boys are only one and three, so the likelihood of them remembering these early holidays are very slim. But I’ll have pictures to show them. I’ll remember. I’ll remember the reflection of the lights on their faces smushed against the windows as we pass by lit-up houses. I’ll remember the giggles and pitter-patter of tiny footprints running around the house as my boys play in their matching PJs. I’ll remember the snuggles under a blanket as we watch “The Grinch” for the 183rd time. Because, for me, the holidays are nothing without tradition.