4 types of holiday traditions to create and maintain
This time of year has me reflecting on all of the holiday traditions I love creating and maintaining over the years. I feel incredibly thankful this time of year that I get to spend the holiday season with those I love the most. I've decided to share a few holiday traditions you should consider to make this holiday season that much more enjoyable.
(1) For you and your significant other: Sometimes you don't have the chance to celebrate the holidays with your significant other if you're both in different places or if you're both obligated to spend the holidays with a bunch of family. To ensure you get your "together time" during the holiday season, consider adopting a new tradition of when your "holiday" will be together. Maybe it's Christmas Eve when you open each-other's presents or maybe you make a weekend out of it before or after Christmas and do a winter activity together - skiing, going out for a nice meal or going ice skating. Designating a time to spend the holidays as a couple is something to look forward to each year.
My tradition with my significant other: Tristan and I go separate ways during the holidays because his family lives in California and my parents are now living in Denver. Although I wish we could celebrate the holiday together, we make up for it by maintaining the tradition to open our presents the weekend before we fly home. In fact, the last two years we've gone on a weekend ski trip around the holidays to spend time together before or after we've parted ways for holiday break. I love getting some "us" time carved out to enjoy this time of year together.
(2) For you and your family: As I'm sure many of you have your traditions with family, if you're wanting to switch things up for a year (or years to come) consider what you can do as a family unit or with one family member that would be a special and exciting thing to look forward to each holiday season when spent together. Maybe it's baking or preparing Christmas dinner; hosting a family game night on Christmas Eve or getting the whole family dressed up to go see The Nutcracker. Whatever it is, the holidays are a time that brings family together (often) in one place and is a great opportunity to instill new or old traditions for years to come.
My tradition with my family: I'm so proud to say that my mom and I have been going to see The Nutcracker for (this will be) 19 years! I can't believe we've gone all these years but it's such a fun mother/daughter date - I also buy a nutcracker every year and have quite an abundant collection to one day showcase throughout my home when decorating for Christmas. We've seen The Nutcracker in Tacoma, Seattle and Denver! I love keeping this tradition alive and I hope it's one I can maintain with my children someday. As a family unit, my parents and I spend Christmas Eve playing games and watching our favorite movies every year: Elf, Home Alone, The Grinch, Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas. It's so nice to have a relaxing day off, lounging around and enjoying each other's company.
(3) For you and friends: Often times, the holidays are such a busy time of year it's hard to get plans on the calendar with friends. But, if and when you have availability in your schedules, make time to enjoy the holidays together (before or after Christmas)! Consider planning a double date to go ice skating, go out for a happy hour and order spiked hot chocolate, do your holiday shopping together or do a gift exchange (set a budget every year!) over a yummy meal. It's a great way to spend time together and can be a BFF date on the calendar to look forward to every year.
My tradition with friends: No matter how busy this time of year gets, I am determined to see my close friends before I leave for the holidays or right when I'm back in Seattle from holiday traveling. Every year, I get together with my friends over a weekend brunch or happy hour to exchange inexpensive gifts and catch-up. I'm a firm believer that at the end of the day, you're never too busy for your loved ones.
(4) For yourself: Aside from creating and maintaining traditions with others, it's also important to ensure you're making time for your own holiday traditions. It sounds silly, but this is a time of year that goes by so fast! Take time to determine what traditions are yours - maybe it's when you decide to start decorating for the holidays, maybe you love to bake and want to hand-deliver goodies to your neighbors or maybe you want to mail out personalized Christmas cards to loved ones. It can be a lot of fun to discover and maintain your own traditions over the years!
My traditions: I grew up in a household where Christmas cards floated in and out every December. My parents wrote up a Christmas letter or customized a card and sent it out to family and friends. It was a tradition I loved (it's also the designer in me that still loves those tangible, paper goods!) and wanted to maintain when I lived on my own. Since moving to Seattle, I've successfully mailed out Christmas cards every year to friends and family. I have a blast picking out a design, customizing, addressing and mailing out the card with the corresponding poinsettia holiday stamp. This year, I've been so busy I considered foregoing the Christmas card and one of my friends reacted by saying "WHAT! You send one every year, you have to!" This gave me the realization that this tradition was one I'd maintained and others looked forward to. And so, the 2017/2018 holiday card designing begins...