Family Christmas Traditions: How Young is Too Young to Start One?
As I gear up to head home for the holidays, I can’t help but think of all the wonderful traditions that my family has participated in, both immediate and extended, that have truly shaped the way I perceive this time of year. Even now that my childhood days are long gone, I still see all of the magic that vividly surrounded me as a young’n. As we grow old, and especially as we watch new ones come into the world, this time of year is simply magic. But the question as to when to start a new tradition is always iffy – how young is too young? Will they even remember? Is it worth the hassle?
In a single word: YES!
Granted, this is just my opinion, but allow me to back up my answer… I dearly cherish the traditions that my family has partaken in since I can remember (though as to how far back, I’ll never know). Those memories my family and I have built over the years is irreplaceable, and they all started when I was a baby.
I’m sure I am going to get some heat for this, but in my household, it would not TRULY be Christmas Eve if my ENTIRE family did not partake in singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Everyone in my family hates doing it, and with how terribly out-of-pitch we all are, it’s actually amazing neighbors have not requested us to stop this pastime years ago. And yet, we get out these old musty posters (with lyrics on the back-no less) and sing that song. Every year. Without fail. And I love that.
Another tradition in my family, aside from cinnamon rolls for breakfast – I mean, honestly, what says Christmas breakfast more than a gooey cinnamon roll with extra cream cheese frosting? – is that my dad creates these elaborately large Christmas cards each year that are unbelievably detailed and amazing to look at. It is a highly anticipated event when he debuts these works of art each year, and it would truly not be Christmas without all of us sitting down around him in the living room, eagerly awaiting its first appearance.
Now, okay, yes, these are old traditions, and maybe all of those weren’t always around for my first Christmas, but that is the beauty in starting traditions! You can mold and shape them as you go. If you think it will make your holiday a little brighter to start a new tradition of buying the entire family matching holiday pajamas, then do it! Your babies may not remember their first Christmas, but when they are older and looking back on old pictures, they will smile and “remember”. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Now, in terms of the tradition you want to start as a new family, that’s up to you. We’ve covered the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ Christmas tradition, the up and coming tale that has taken the nation by storm, or at least that’s what I have gathered from countless hours spent on Pinterest. There is also the ever-classic baking of holiday goodies, the Secret Santa exchange, the opening of presents on Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas Day, and there are traditions that may not be so run-of-the-mill (like my family’s Men’s Grab Bag gift exchange – yikes). However, those traditions, no matter how small or silly, will wind up making this time of year so special for you and your little ones.
Whatever you and your partner decide, don’t let age hinder when you’d like to start!
What traditions do you and your family partake in? What traditions do you think you will add in for your little ones?