Monday, December 3, 2012

Creating Family Traditions. (Doing Less, Doing More)

Creating Family Traditions

Let me start by explaining that ours is not a traditional family.
And, yes, I am referring to the fact that we like to crawl through the cavates at Bandalier National Monument. And, can't help ourselves so we just right in to keep the World's Largest Bat from falling. (We're nice that way.)

And, yes, we might have made a Christmas Pez Tree - replete with Santa Yoda Bobble-Head.
And it was really fun!

Yes, we might have turned our kitchen into a Jimmy John's.
But, it's seriously. cool.

No, when I say we aren't traditional, I  mean that we got married in our 40s and we are making new family traditions!  I mentioned in our Untangling Christmas post how our focus is less - less stress, less gifts, less chaos.  
We are also doing more.  
More intentionality. More giving.  More focus.
More family traditions.

It's funny, the 15 year old didn't think we had any traditions - until we started to decorate and he realized that "this GOES here."  It just does.  Like, the little bronze bell that hangs from our tree like an ornament.  It goes on the bottom branch to the cat can play with it. 

Then there's the Santa and Mrs. Claus animated stuffed...thing.  It was my mom's.  (She used to have her home filled with animated Christmas dolls.  Some huge, some smaller.  Most of them stopped working long ago.  Yet, this one remains.)  You press the button and Santa snores while Mrs. Claus sings "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" in Dat-da-da da's.  Our tradition?  If someone presses the button we all have to sing along.  Or, snore.  Either one, really.  It's just something we DO.

The Pez Tree?  Yep, that's a tradition.
We did that tree the first year and last year we did the green M&M  wreath above.  (Sorry for the yucky nighttime's from our Cafe D Facebook page last year.) I'm not sure if we are going to do a candy creation this year - but we might.  Because it's a tradition :)

Each year we go to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.  We visit the exhibits and take a pretty family picture next to the BIG tree.  Then we take a completely goofy pic.  Can we be real here? It's expensive.  And, finding a whole day without obligations can be a little awkward.  
But, it's worth it.  We value it.  It's tradition.

Traditions should be fun - not a burden.

I know that might seem simple.  It felt pretty strange typing something so obvious.  Yet, sometimes traditions are continued just for the sake of carrying it on - sometimes LONG past when it was fun.  Or, maybe convenient.  Or, even appreciated.

My challenge for myself this year is to listen to my tone.  If I say, "And, THEN we HAVE TO..." I want to stop for a second.  "We have to..." Hmm.  Do we?  Can we choose not to?  Can we do it this year, make the most of it, then stop doing it?  Did it used to be fun and now it's not?  Would it be fun again if we did it every couple of years?  Perhaps never is too soon.

It's time for some new traditions in our home.
I think I want to find a something tasty for breakfast for Christmas morning.  
I'll check our Pinterest boards - I'm sure something on the Brunch board will be perfect!

And, I think I'm gonna see what how the fam feels about having OUR Christmas before we head out of town.  That way, if anyone gets any *cough* new PJs *cough* we can wash em and wear em right away.  Also, it means that we won't rush through our Christmas when we get back.  It's been having a little "last and least important" feel to me...and I think that's just because we are tired from traveling when we've been opening our gifts.

This year Chex Mix came up in a few different conversations.  My husband used to make it at the holidays years ago.  We have tons of Chex right now because it was $1.88 a box - even less with coupons, so I stocked up.  So, this weekend we made Chex Mix.  That might end up a tradition, might not.  We'll see if we enjoy it next year or if just gets to be "one more thing on the list."

If so, we'll toss that one off right OFF the list!

Oh, I almost forgot! 
I need your help!  
We love listening to audio books when we travel.  This year I was thinking of getting a Christmasy story for the road.  We might just grab Dickens and listen to A Christmas Carol. I'd LOVE hearing any other suggestions you might have!!

How about you?
What traditions  do you love?
What traditions would you like to ditch?
Join in on the Conversation... 
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