I did an experiment this year. I went out and bought fall decorations. A lot of them. I put them up around the house and waited to see how long it took my family to notice. My daughter, all things artistic, noticed immediately. My son, well, not until his sister pointed them out to him. My husband, I’m still waiting.
My son took a glance around, shrugged his shoulders and went outside to shoot some hoops. My daughter complained that I hadn’t taken her with me on this shopping endeavor. Once my husband does notice, I’m sure he’ll want to see the bill.
Truthfully I like my decorations. They bring a coziness to our dining area and I can pretend that it’s fall while I’m still wearing shorts in Arizona. However, as far as being important to create family memories or teaching my kids the concept of family tradition during the holidays, the benefit has been zilch.
So, I asked my kids, “What are some things you’d like to do to make the holidays special?”. I was surprised by their answers.
- Decorate together. (Good to know I’m justified in buying seasonal decorations!) They want to help decide where it all goes. It probably won’t look like the Pottery Barn catalog, but it’ll be fun and we’ll be together.
- Bake together. They want to crack the eggs, start the mixer, roll the dough, and spread frosting, not just eat the bakery worthy masterpieces that I make while they’re at school. We probably won’t be contestants on Cupcake Wars, but it’ll be fun and we’ll be together.
- Shop together. “We want to pick out gifts for our cousins and everyone! Why do you go without us?” they whined. Honestly I’m not sure I could handle the holiday bustle with my two kids in tow, but snuggled on the couch drinking hot chocolate, while shopping together online sounds pretty good! I have a feeling I might be spending a little more this year, but we’ll be together.
While I was intent on creating a holiday home worthy of a Pinterest board, I realized that a holiday home to my kids simply meant being together- in the mismatched decor, gooey frosting, and Amazon order fest. The best family tradition for them was being home together as a family.
If you stop by during the holidays I cannot guarantee what my kitchen may look like, nor what homemade paper shapes might be hanging from the chandelier in the dining room, but I will offer you one delicious cookie that you can eat at your own risk!
What are some fun family traditions that you do during the holidays?
How do you maintain perspective amidst the holiday madness?