Holiday Traditions

Why do we do what we do?
October 5, 2012 - Written by Jessica Lahrs

For most of us, the holidays bring about fond childhood memories.  Whether we had large gatherings with extended family or a simple dinner with immediate family, what we remember are the traditions.  The anticipation of doing what we did last year with the people we love.

When we become parents, the holidays bring on a whole new meaning.  We are now responsible for creating memories for our own children.  The memories that they will treasure as they grow older and miss when they move away!  It is an amalgamation of each parent’s traditions but it’s also a chance to start new traditions. 

My mom often tells me this story:

For years a woman cut off the ends of a roast before placing it in a pot to cook.  One day the woman’s daughter asked why she cut off the ends.  The woman didn’t know why but explained that that is what her mother always did.  Together they called the woman’s mother to find the answer but the answer was the same, she didn’t know why, it was just something her mother always did.  With another phone call, the woman’s grandmother was on the phone and they finally got the answer: “I cut off the ends of the roast so that it would fit in the pot.”   

Sometimes we do things because that is the way we always did it and for holiday traditions, it can be very comforting.  At the same time, if there are traditions that we don’t love, there may not be a reason to continue!

Maybe your tradition involves hours and hours of kitchen preparation that takes you away from quality family time or maybe your holiday dinner involves unhealthy foods when otherwise you are trying to eat healthy.  If you are a passionate cook or enjoy the unhealthy break that holidays bring, then keep going!

But, if you are dreading the holidays, think about the parts that you are dreading and then change it!  The best traditions are the ones you love and the ones you do, not because you have to do them, but because you want to do them. 

My daughter is still young and as a family, my husband and I are still finding our family traditions.  It’s exciting to create something new but of course we want to bring part of our family history with us too.  It will be fun to see what develops over the coming years!

What are your family traditions?  Do you plan on reinventing the holidays this year?

Get an update when a new blog is posted