Holiday Traditions

Written by: Erin Carlson

As parents, our first and most important job is providing our children with basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and love.  But, I realized there is something else that is almost as important:  I am responsible for my daughter’s childhood experience – her childhood memories.  I want those memories to be unforgettable and in order to make that happen, I have to put the time and effort in now. 

One of the easiest ways to make positive childhood memories is by creating holiday traditions.  When I was growing up, my mom bombarded us with family traditions.  As my brothers and I became teenagers, our forced participation in these holiday activities brought more eye-rolling than excitement.  Nevertheless, becoming a parent made me appreciate my parents for providing me with the foundation to continue holiday traditions with my daughter. 

Whether you keep old traditions or create new ones, your children will learn to look forward to them each year.  Some of my Nebraska childhood holiday traditions included:

  • making a gingerbread house
  • personalized advent calendar
  • Swedish breakfast smorgasbord
  • baking cookies
  • shopping and wrapping gifts with my grandparents and
  • getting into the car with our pajamas on and my dad driving us around town, honking at the houses with the best lights (one of my favorites!).

We also judged our holiday cards on categories such as most beautiful, best photo, first to arrive, etc., and then the winners would receive an award certificate.  People started sending us cards specifically to compete!  Living in Chicago now also gives me the opportunity to add new traditions such as the Festival of Lights and the holiday el. 

There is no right or wrong when it comes to traditions.  Just make them your own and enjoy every minute you have with your children.  One of the best perks of being a parent is getting to be a kid again and taking your children along for the ride!

Posted on December 05, 2012 at 10:49 AM