Posted by: Genny Colby | November 29, 2010


Traditions are the staple of any holiday…what makes a holiday a “holiday” and not just another day?  Every family has them, from the simplest of things to the most detailed.  When you decide to share you life with someone, be it through marriage, or nor, blending those traditions takes time, patience, and compromise.   Add children to the mix…and it gets all that more complicated.  And of course, building new traditions with your immediate family.

My family has many holiday traditions..some of which are really important to me, some of which I am okay letting go, but how to blend those with my husband’s has been something we have worked on for many years.  Some of them we put off discussing, since until we had kids, they were less of an issue.  But now our daughter is 2 and it is time to start building those traditions into the holidays.  She is now aware of what is going on around her and ready to take part in some of these, or at least ready to learn about them!

Stockings…who knew this could be so complicated?  We also got out stockings on December 6, celebrating St Nicholas Day.  It never seemed odd to me.  But my husband thought this was the weirdest thing he had ever heard of, getting your stocking at the start of December.  Stocking to him where Christmas morning, where Santa left a few little extra toys along with the big Santa present(s).  So what to do….who was going to be willing to give up their tradition?  Both of us felt very strongly about when stockings should be done, so we compromised.  We do both.  Yep, we do two stockings.  One on December 6 with fruit, nuts, candy, and a few little toys, and one on Christmas morning with candy and a few toys.

My family had two other traditions, to count down from December 1 to Christmas.  The first one is an ornament tree that my mother made, I believe before I was born.  Each day you put up a new ornament on the tree.  Luckily, a few years back, using my mom’s original as a guide/pattern, my mom and sister made three new ones…one for my sister, my brother and me.  Now we can each use one with our children, carrying on a tradition that meant so much to us.

My husband remembers fondly his advent calendar.  You know the one-where you open the window each day and get a piece of chocolate?  Well, we had one in our house too, only we used the same one each year.  When I was 2, my Grandma made this treat wreath as we always called it for me.  Each year, my mom would put a little treat for each day on the calendar, and each morning we would cut down that days package for our surprise.  My mom did this each year well into our adulthood.  And now, it is time for me to start this tradition with my daughter.  So this fall we cleaned it up, put on new hooks to hold each days gifts and my wonderful hubby put it in a new frame.   I have to say, not looking so bad for being 33 years old!
Here it is without the treats:
And here it is with the treats, ready and waiting for December 1 to come!
Luckily we still have a little more time to figure out the rest of our holiday traditions (does she have to wait for mommy and daddy to open/get her Santa presents?  What time can she get up on Christmas morning?)  But I am sure will figure a nice blend and create some new traditions of our own.
So, what are your “must have to be the holiday” traditions?  What new traditions have you created for your family?

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