After my daughter was born, I really wanted to start some holiday traditions for her so that she would have memories of them growing up. In comparison to my spouse, I didn’t grow up with a lot of Christmas traditions. We ate a Christmas dinner and opened presents but that was the extent of Christmas. Sometimes the house would be decorated and a tree would be up by Christmas Day. There wasn’t a set date for that either.

When my spouse and I started dating and I was invited to be part of his family’s Christmas celebrations, I was in awe. Not only was their house was fully decorated, but I learned of they had specific set meals for Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, and Christmas dinner. I was also introduced to Christmas stockings. (I’ve never had one until I met his family. Up to this point, I thought they were just for decoration and kept empty.)

For my daughter’s first Christmas, we continued my spouse’s family Christmas traditions and added some more for practical reasons. We would spend Christmas morning and afternoon with his family and then mine for dinner. Previously, we were less concerned about what day we celebrated Christmas with my family because we didn’t have traditions and my dad really didn’t care. However, he cares now that he has a granddaughter and wants to see her open presents on Christmas Day.

We started some of these holiday traditions after hearing/learning about them and copying others. (The last part is key.)

  • Buying Christmas outfits for my daughter even though I feel it is a waste of money to wear an outfit once a year.

  • Taking pictures with Santa.

  • Decorating the house by December 1st, even if it means pulling an all nighter on November 30th or asking my daughter to “help.”

  • Buying a cheesy “year” Christmas ornament and putting my daughter’s picture in it.

  • Filling her advent calendar by December 1st.

  • Going to watch Christmas lights and two set locations.

I’ve learned that holiday traditions are created at some point for some reason and then repeated in the years to follow. While I didn’t grow up with any holiday traditions, I was lucky to have been included in my spouses. Hearing what others do for traditions, allowed me to incorporate them into our family’s traditions as well. My biggest takeaway that I learned and want to share is: It is never too late to start holiday traditions that work for your family, that is unconventional, and that your family really enjoys. Happy Holidays!

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