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Start Your Own Family Holiday Traditions

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

While decorating the house for the holidays I was reminded of the importance of family traditions. I can think back on my own childhood and traditions that we had, and some of which I continued with my own children. But every family needs to start their own traditions as childhood memories are often made from these events, however small they may be.

We put up the advent calendars last week and my “big” boys still happily open the doors every day to see what little surprise lies behind each one. When I told them that I thought they were “too old” for hanging their advent calendars they showed me all of the nail holes on the wall, and reminded me of how they passed down the privilege of putting in those nails as each brother got older. I think I remember a few tears and fights over the hammer and nails, but the fact that they still remember how special that was is a joy to me. Gotta love the kids, they remember the good stuff.

The Christmas carols were another tradition, as I made them dance with their mother to tunes while they “begrudgingly” decorated the tree and “tried” to string lights. I remember that they told me I looked funny, but at the same time all of the laughter and giggles of boys dancing around with wild abandon while no one else was watching.

Christmas cookies with dough all over the kitchen and every color of sprinkles you could imagine and 6 little hands all rolling and cutting out and creating their masterpieces. Now they come home and ask, “Are the cookies already baked?” They insist that no others taste the same way.

So start those traditions with your children when they are young. Turn up those carols, dance around the tree and make memories for always. Less stress for the holidays!

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again tomorrow!

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