My mom always told us it was officially the holiday season once we put away our Thanksgiving dinner leftovers.
Traditions- The Foundation of Love
It is a silly tradition, I suppose, to be so specific about “when” we can begin using seasonal greetings but nonetheless, it’s one that has stuck with me for a lifetime. This was monumental in our home because it not only signaled when the greetings changed but also when decorating could commence! I talked to my mom over the weekend and, like every year of my life, she put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Over the weekend my niece and nephew came over to help decorate and this of course has lit the fire of Christmas Spirit in both of them.
One of our other family traditions is baking. We make a large selection of family recipes that were brought over from Sweden and Scotland. They are very different in their tastes and textures than many of our traditional cookies and taste amazing—less sweet, more spice. Definitely coffee dunking style cookies (interpreted as hard as a rock). I remember how hard some of them were until you dunked them in your tea (as kids we were told coffee would stunt our growth so we were served Earl Grey tea instead—pretty sure my grandmothers were clueless about caffeine). My paternal grandmother, Alice, would mutter in Swedish as she watched us overload our tea with sugar cubes and cream and then laugh as we dunked the cookies in the warm mixture and could finally bite into the delicious, spicy stars.
Traditions like these may seem trivial and yet over the course of a lifetime they are woven into the fabric of your family and become emblazoned in your memory. Traditions really are a warm blanket that, when the chips are down, you can wrap yourself in them to get you through. It’s the repetition over time that makes traditions memorable.
This holiday season as you are preparing for Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, and any other faith tradition, consider your own personal traditions. Invite family and friends to share in them and remember how important they are to building the foundation of your family and relationships to one another.
Wishing you and yours an amazing Holiday Season! Thank you for changing lives for Good!