Every family has their own set of traditions. Some involve going to holiday parties or shows like the Nutcracker, baking batches of cookies or a trip to the Christmas tree farm.
But just as our phones, cars and lives have changed over the past 10 years, so have families and holiday traditions. Not one family is exactly alike, so while ugly sweaters, gatherings, trees and gifts are as much a part of the holiday spirit as ever, new traditions are popping up, adding new memories and new possibilities to the holiday season.
So let us celebrate “family traditions” and try starting your own new set of traditions that adhere to your family’s schedules, cultures, and memories.
Celebrate On YOUR Family Schedule
Since we were military, sometimes my husband could not be home or he would get called in. And even now in his new career, he still cannot be at home for the holidays all the time due to his schedule. Therefore we celebrate when we can. That means, we might have to celebrate a few days before. That’s OKAY and my kids are used to it. We still have our own traditions and gifts and food, we just do it on a different day simply because it fits in our schedule. We do this already with birthdays or Valentine’s Dinner or Mother’s Day, but the meaning behind the celebration is still the same. There is no time limit on celebrating a life of love, joy, and family!
Unique Travel Destinations
There was a time when it seemed like everyone scrambled to make it home for the holidays. And while families are still making plans to get together, an increasing number are shaking things up by traveling to a new state or a new city to celebrate the holidays.
And they’re not only traveling to the iconic spots like the ice rink in Rockefeller Center or seeking out palm trees and white sand beaches. One vacation theme that has been rising in popularity involves reliving favorite Christmas movies.
The best example of this trend can be seen in Cleveland, Ohio where A Christmas Story House & Museum (www.achristmasstoryhouse.com) is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary. Each year, thousands of people from all over the country make the trip to visit the restored house where the iconic movie was filmed. Inside A Christmas Story House, open year-round, every room and detail matches up to the movie so people who have grown up watching the movie year after year can have the first-hand experience of what it’s like to be one of the Parkers. Only the furnace works a little better, and no one gets his or her mouth washed out with soap. But those who are unable to make the trip, can still order their own Leg Lamp at www.redriderleglamps.com!
Shop From the Heart and Not From the Wallet
The biggest folly with holiday shopping around this time of year is that this generation judges how much success someone has and how much someone loves us through the amount of money we spend. Maybe the reason we have so much depression, anger, and emotional conflicts in the world is because we fail to see the size of someone’s heart over the size of their house.
Corporate businesses feed off human greed and you can see that through their holiday push 3 months in advance. But fear not, that may be changing as we start to take notice in the holiday intent. You’ve probably seen a store advertising artisanal, hand crafted, locally produced goods pop up in your neighborhood. It’s a sign that people’s buying habits are changing. This is especially true when it comes to their holiday shopping routines.
While there may still be plenty of people lining up outside of the big box stores for Black Friday sales, more and more are searching for that one-of-a-kind gift that can only be found in a local store or after some serious online hunting. Instead of giving each other the gift everyone else wants, people are trying to give each other gifts that are truly unique and thoughtful.
Don’t go out of your way to shop BIG, but shop THOUGHTFUL instead. Sometimes I ask my family what their greatest memories were and then I find something from that time, place, or moment and give it as a gift. For instance, my daughter loves Vintage, but as a teen in this modern age, she has never owned a record player, so this Christmas I got her a record player from the 80’s with a copy of my old favorite album, Def Leppard. She has her vintage and a memory of mom all wrapped up in one.
Walking Through Memory Lane
It’s tradition to prepare for the numerous snacks, sweets and huge meals of the holiday season by buying a couple of baggy sweaters. But the current health conscious generation is changing that. No, they’re not replacing sugar cookies with kale chips, but rather adding a workout to the Christmas routine instead.
Many cities around the country now host Santa and reindeer-themed runs. In fact, the A Christmas Story House & Museum also holds a unique tradition called A Christmas Story 5K/10K Run. The race involves more than 5,000 people dressed in pink bunny pajamas, the infamous lamp or any character from the iconic movie. Participants run from the former Higbee’s Department Store and finish at the Museum itself, where runners can visit the gift shop to shop for some amazing A Christmas Story-themed presents.
But as fun as these are, nothing beats a brisk family walk around a holiday decorated park or even a simple couples walk to reminisce the year gone by.
Just Be In The Moment
Whatever holiday you celebrate, however your family is connected, make sure you don’t loose sight of what really matters and spend time together creating your own traditions and your own memories.
What are some of your favorite traditions or some new ones that you and your family celebrate?