5 Tips for Creating Holiday Traditions

Many of my memories as a kid are centered around Christmas. Decorating the tree listening to the California Raisins sing carols. Leaving cookies and milk for Santa and a few carrots for his reindeer. Christmas Eve communion. Driving around on Christmas Eve and seeing the lights. 

I dreamed of the family I would one day have and all of the traditions we would enjoy year after year. 

Last year, the holiday season was pretty chaotic for us. For Thanksgiving, my husband stayed in Milwaukee and while I stayed in North Carolina. Christmas was spent telling my family goodbye, moving our belongings from storage to the moving truck, and driving from North Carolina to Wisconsin. We left the only place we had known as a family on New Year’s Eve and arrived in Milwaukee as a family on New Year’s Day 2016. What a way to start off a new year, right?!  

After a lot of conversation, we decided to stay in Milwaukee for the holidays.

holiday traditions

It’s the first time in our marriage that we have been able to decide exactly how we want to celebrate Christmas. 

7 years married and I am now realizing we should have started our own traditions a long time ago. I’ve been making a list of what we could do, but I realized I was being unrealistic with my expectations. 

I have to admit that I realize this concept may feel last minute to most of you. In all honestly, as the mom of two littles, I’m getting pretty good at last-minute! Yes, the girl that prides herself in being a planner has now become the one who’s throwing it all together last minute.

So, if you’re like me, here’s 5 tips for creating new holiday traditions.

  1. Keep it simple, mama. While it would be awesome to hike up a mountain and cut down our own Christmas tree with our two small children (and take a great Christmas card picture, too!), it seems like more of a hassle than a fun time For us, whatever is easiest is probably the best choice. 
  2. Don’t overdo it! Milwaukee boast an abundance of holiday and winter opportunities. In fact, we have some great guides for ideas. I have a long list of what I would like to do, but I’m an overachiever. Setting a more realistic goal of trying 1-2 things might be better for my sanity the kids. 
  3. Let the kids in on it.  It’s easy to rely on traditions that you have had since you were a kid, but remember that this is your family, so incorporate some of your own childhood traditions, but allow your kids to create their own traditions as well. 
  4. Perfection is overrated. I cannot stress this one enough, especially for myself. It’s not going to look or feel perfect and that’s okay. Perfect doesn’t equal memorable. 
  5. Celebrate what’s important to your family. We put so much effort and money into the holidays, but we can be distracted by the commercialism of the holiday. Check your plans to see if they point back to what’s important. 

How do you create traditions? I would love to hear your ideas!

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