No matter your beliefs or family vibe, most of us want to establish some sort of tradition with our kids surrounding the holidays. For me personally, these holiday traditions made me learn more about my culture, the history of my family, and it was just plain fun as a kid! These are all aspects I want to be a part of my son’s life. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to do things exactly how they were done when I was a child. Plus, now that I’ve birthed this child with a partner with his own traditions, it’s all about creating them together.
When it comes to establishing holiday traditions with your family, here are four things to keep in mind along the way.
1. Don’t be afraid of trial and error
Let’s face it – we’ve all had some grand idea to host an annual holiday dinner party or swore that we’d visit a pumpkin patch every October…only to totally forget about it the next year – or swear it off after a bad experience. And that’s cool!
Just because you think of a tradition you want to start doesn’t mean you’re forced to live it out for the next 18 years. If it doesn’t end up working for your family, nix it. If it feels more forced than fun, #bye. And just because it’s something you loved as a kid, your own kids may not love it as much as you did. Be flexible!
2. Start small
I don’t even know how many holidays there are each year, but there are a lot. On top of everything else on the to-do list of motherhood, it can be overwhelming, to say the least.
Remember that you’re still a kickass mom without decorating the entire house for every holiday, or going all out for each one. I suggest starting small and picking one or two holidays to focus on per year – at least in the beginning.
Make some traditions and plans around those holidays and see how it feels. Maybe you want to take on more the next year. Or, you may feel totally content celebrating just those two holidays at full force.
3. Ask your kids
Once your kids are old enough, ask them for their input. Especially once they’re school-age, they’ll hear other friends’ plans with their families who may have different traditions than you do. Ask them what they’ve really enjoyed so far and see if they have any traditions they want to add!
Giving kids independence to add to your traditions will not only boost their confidence, but it’ll make them feel like an asset to the family dynamic. Not to mention, it allows their creativity to flourish. Plus, let’s be real – less work for mama.
4. Think outside the box
I kind of love when I hear a family celebrating one of the quieter holidays, instead of only establishing holiday traditions around the bigger ones (Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, etc).
Depending on what values you have in your family, think about finding traditions around something like Veterans Day or MLK Day. Or maybe New Years Day is a bigger deal than NYE in your household. There are no rules when it comes to family traditions – they’re meant to be yours.
What are your favorite holiday traditions with your family? Or maybe one that ended up being a total hot mess? Share with us in the comment section below!