Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I have the opposite issue of most people. Most Women/Families have a plethora of traditions that they can begin when they have children or families. They can pick and choose from two sets of parents and even grandparents, aunts and uncles on up the family tree. Me? I got basically nothing. My maternal Grandparents died before I was born. My Paternal Grandparents aren't 'Christmas celebrators' and besides I have seen them MAYBE 2 dozen times in my 32 years of life (also my Papaw has been dead for 5+ years). And Parents? My parents (who had me @ 38 years old) raised me semi-pentecostal semi-something else, all in all we didn't believe in or celebrate Christmas (it was considered a pagan holiday). (I have 1 biological sibling that I am close to, a brother 15 years older than me.)

So strike 3 for no traditions.

Then my in-laws; my mother in law prepared foods, and I have her recipes- that is great- however most of the food is boxed or canned and it is hard for me to prepare and eat that (think plastic cheese). When I had only known her 2 years, she died, and with her the oral traditions of all her family. Now my father in law has remarried and they live 1000 miles away, not a particularly close family.

My son is 2 and just for the first time gonna get to experience Christmas. So where do I start, what tradition do I incorporate. I feel like a pioneer, in my own home life.

So be thankful for the legacy of traditions that you are blessed with, no matter how silly they seen. There are people out there like me who have lost so much oral and physical family traditions. Oh and RECORD your traditions in as many ways as you can (write, audio, video, photograph)- future generations will want to know! Happy, Blessed Holidays to all!!

(And feel free to share your special traditions with me please!)


  1. I feel like a pioneer too. It's all a journey, I guess. I am trying to make mine more intentional.

  2. It would be frustrating not to have family traditions, but imagine the possibilities! I hope that you read a few things from Carnival writers today that resonate with you. And I'm sure that your son will grow up in a family rich with traditions - no matter when they were started. Thank you for participating!

    ~Dionna @ Code Name: Mama

  3. Wow, I can imagine it is both really challenging and maybe a little freeing to be starting from scratch with all this. My advice is that you don't have to do it all right off the bat -- just gradually add a few things each year (month, season, whatever) and see what fits and feels right. Even though both my husband and I come from families with a lot of traditions (at least around the "big" commercial holidays) we are still feeling our way and starting things slow -- when the kids are little they are very forgiving and also rewarding in what they get excited about.

    On my carnival post I've listed some of our current Christmas traditions, most of which are not very fancy, but are fun. I want to add more little rituals and traditions in to everyday, or to non-religious holidays, too, though -- like adding special candles for solstices, maybe, or celebrating things like May Day, half-birthdays, and various other "special days".

    Good luck to you! Glad to meet you here via the Carnival of Natural Parenting!

  4. Traditions are so beautiful because they can be created at any time!

    We always set up a Nativity Scene but only the animals are in the stable and the Shepherd is nearby (in a 'field'). Mary and Joseph "travel" across the room and arrive on Christmas Eve. Baby Jesus arrives on Christmas morning. The Wise Men start further away and arrive on New Years Day when we pretend Jesus is 2 years old.

    It was always my favorite Christmas Tradition and the first Christmas decoration I bought when I moved out!

    I grew up opening one gift in Christmas eve, and now my little family opens new (laundered) jammies on Christmas Eve, puts them on and takes a family photo.

    At my Gramma's house everyone could eat ANYTHING they wanted on Christmas day. For me it was oranges, sugar cookies and chocolate!

    My mom (a health food nut) always insisted that Santa would be tired of cookies and milk so we would put out veggies and dip and a big glass of water for him instead.

    Just a few of my favorites! My little one is only 3 and I hope to create more over these next few years. Enjoy the process of creating new traditions that your kids will cherish for years!

  5. That is truly a hard row to hoe. You've definitely made me appreciate what traditions we do have that have been passed down, orally or through participation. I do notice my husband and me making our own traditions a lot, too, though, so maybe you don't have to feel so lost — or, at any rate, you're only as lost as the rest of us who are seeking out our own paths, despite the traditions behind us. Maybe you could start small and see what you all enjoy, and then try a few new things next year, and eventually you'll collect the amount of traditions you want.