The Holiday’s come with the hustle and bustle of decorating, shopping and much-needed family time. There is nothing I love more than waking up and spending the day in my house, with the Christmas lights glowing and holiday music on repeat. Growing up in a home that found so much joy in Christmas was easily taken advantage of. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t guilty, and it wasn’t until these past two years of living hundreds of miles away from my family, that I noticed myself holding onto the traditions I remember tighter than ever before. Now, I realize the conversations with my Husband about creating our own traditions stem from the memories I’ve built for years, ones that have changed my life forever. While the holidays may not be the same for everyone, and traditions may not be the center of your past, that doesn’t mean they can’t be a part of your future.
Traditions hold a different story for everyone. My story starts and ends with lots of ornaments and garland, Christmas dinnerware, and a huge train village that took over half of our living room. The décor and the feeling of Christmas have been heavily influenced by the time my family has spent flipping my house to a winter wonderland year after year. It’s a place you’ll never want to leave from early November to early January. While others started preparing for Thanksgiving, my family was already dragging out all the boxes from the attic, gearing up for the long weekends of decorating ahead. While some may consider this over the top, it’s the only way I’ve ever known.
Traditions create a domino effect. We have a positive experience or create a happy memory, which leaves us with the desire to continue to create the same for ourselves and loved ones time after time. These experiences shape our views and perceptions of the Holidays. Growing up, we spent every year decorating 9 different trees, listening to Kenny G’s Christmas album (a favorite of my Dad’s), and making Christmas cookies from scratch. I remember vividly waking up Christmas morning and eating my Grandfathers breakfast casserole with warm cider, while we opened presents one by one. We’d be so exhausted by the end everyone would be napping by noon while Mom made Christmas dinner. The day would be over in a blink, but traditions and memories would hang in the air for at least another week or two before our Winter Wonderland got packed up in the boxes for yet another year. And while the trees and the presents are all incredible memories, the traditions I still carry with me come from those I have created them with.
Finding myself entering into yet another holiday under my own roof, and with my own family, has brought new memories into play. While some traditions will continue, new ones will be made. I’ve realized that that’s the magic of the Holidays. New memories don’t have to mean bad memories. because traditions come from a place deeper than good food and décor. They stem from those you create them with. Whether it’s with friends, family, or friends who feel like family; finding fellowship and sharing the things that bring you joy during this time of year is enough to pass for generations to come.