Sometimes the holidays come and go, and we barely have a moment to enjoy. Traditions are a fun way to ensure you are creating lasting memories for all involved!
The holidays is always a fun time for my family. We cherish the moments we get to spend together uninterrupted and totally consumed by our own awesomeness. While it does bother me how commercial some of my favorite seasons have become, I will save that for a different post…on a different blog. Right now, lets talk about getting extra sparkly during a time when the lights are already bright! Now this will be a two part post because my family celebrates both Christmas and Kwanzaa. I will start with Christmas because its first on the calendar!
How to make Christmas sparkle? Super easy, and it has nothing to do with the amount of §imoleons you spend at Sim Center Mall (for all of you who also love “The Sims” Game that was for you!). To me it is important to create space and time for your family to be its best self and also traditions that bind you. Now, some of you may think to yourselves “ my family doesn’t really have any traditions, we just sit around and sing Karaoke after Christmas dinner” AHA! There you go! Don’t turn into crazy Auntie lady (like I do a few times a year) killing yourself to create special moments, embrace your family just the way you are. My suggestion is to think about when you’re family is the happiest (and do not default to … when we are apart and on our phones) but really think. Not only around holidays but in every day life, do you guys watch movies together very well (except for that one sister that tries to ruin the end every time); or maybe its not actually dinner, but cooking together; maybe its decorating the house or even walking around the neighborhood and picking your favorite set up. Whatever it is, just acknowledge it. It becomes special once you guys decide that it is.
So if you’ve reviewed your family’s actions and still feel as if you guys lack “tradition worthy” events, it is never too late to create one. Its you’re world, you can create your own reality (sneaking in a bit of positive psychology to keep you coming back for more). But for real y’all, you’re only one year away from the “2nd Annual” time you’ve done it! Meaning, once you all decide on a tradition, just stick to it. I think the best representation of how simple or crazy a tradition can be and how dynamic the first conditions it is created under can be reference NBC’s This Is Us. Truth be told, just needed to mention this show because it is simply a masterpiece and really represents how families are held together by tape, glue and might (yes, Tape & Glue was a Grey’s reference). In the “Pilgrim Rick” episode of This Is Us we are taken on a journey through the thanksgiving traditions of the Pearsons that we later learn are based on one hell of a Thanksgiving mishap. What I took away from that episode is that it matters not what you do or even why you do what you do as a tradition but more so who you do it with and how you do it. This family chose to honor the day they decided to (or were forced) to create a new tradition.
So to help you out, here are some traditions my family partakes in for this holiday:
- Trip to Trinidad! (now this has not really happened since 2005 but it’s a tradition that can be picked up at anytime. I share this with you to say, you do not have to do something every year for it to be special and traditional for your family)
- Singing at the Senior Center: Now this started out as my mother telling us we had no choice but to attend and sing. But it became something special for us, and our friends, to sing at the senior center very close to the Christmas holiday. This has now become something special for us because it helps us remember that this season isnt about us receiving a bunch of material gifts, but rather, the gift of grace that was given to us from our heavenly father. We can donate a bit of our time to ensure that others feel the joy!
- Church on Christmas Eve: Again, this was something that we just used to do, because we had to, but again, it has grown so dear to us. Nothing puts you in a joyous mood more than begin transported back to the beginning of the season…. Even if historically the birth likely happened a different time of year (due to when the annual census used to happened) its still a special time to recognize this momentous occasion
- Open one (or all…) present on Christmas Eve: This started because after we had behaved so well (or not) in church for a few hours we would return home and it would technically be Christmas. My mom was always a sucker for making us feel special in every way that she could, so she always let us open one of the gifts already under the tree. If it ended up that we opened all that were already under there was always a little surprise on Christmas morning proper, because our best gifts usually weren’t wrapped and already under the tree. So we would wake up to a surprise of the things we had actually asked for…which was always a dope surprise that was unexpected. Reinforcing the whole “be thankful for what you have” ideology we learn in church and sometimes you will be blessed more abundantly. Now, not sure we understood that completely as children, but it made for great holidays
- Christmas Breakfast! Before we get into the frenzy of opening gifts, we take a moment to eat breakfast together. Now, I must admit when I was younger I would rush through the meal in order to get to the gifts. But now it has tuned into a moment that we savor as a family. All the excitement and energy we’ve put into preparing for this day– it slows down time for a moment, giving us a moment to fellowship together and think about the reason for the season. This is a fun and practical tradition. I couldn’t imagine trying to focus on cooking after opening gifts. It gives us a little downtime before starting to work on Christmas dinner.
- Onesie Party: This is a newer tradition we began only in the past few years. This is a fun way for us to dress up for Christmas eve and makes us nostalgic of times when onesies were a staple, instead of a costume! The kids love it, we love it and everyone is warm and snuggly! Can you say “Win/Win” situation!?
- Sound Of Music (Me & Kristen): Growing up we spent a few Holiday Seasons in Trinidad, WI. This is where my mother hails from. While there we practiced a bunch of the same traditions including Church one Christmas Eve and Opening one gift the night before. Another fun tradition was myself and my younger cousin would always watch the Sound of Music together.. a few times during the vacation. The best part was always singing along to the movie!
- After Dinner Karaoke: This tradition formed out of the fact that so many family members and friends would join us for dinner. We usually play party games and after a while, we would all get on the mic! We are clearly a family that loves to sing, and it was always a way to promise us laughing into boxing day.
Well, hope you’ve enjoyed sharing our family traditions! Its always so special to celebrate this way with the ones I love and we look forward to this year after year! Feel free to share your traditions and stories with me as well! I am always looking for new ways to add Sparkle to the season!
Till next time!
Sparkle On loves!