Creating New Family Celebrations and Traditions
Whether you are just starting out a marriage or blending a family, or both, it is good to begin to build a community of you together, and this includes creating special occasions and traditions that are unique to you. This could be a blending of each of your individual traditions, giving them a new twist or creating whole new opportunities.
When Joe and I were first blending our families (three daughters between us), I knew it was important for us to have our own culture as a family. Of course, it was important to keep our favorite traditions to continue our comfortable “home-y” feeling, and it was equally important to have some things that binded us together as a family.
At first, the idea(s) didn’t go over well, and my family trudged through it, groaning along the way. However, I believed in what we were doing so much, I stayed consistent and kept trying things to see what would stick. One tradition I created was the 12 Days of Christmas, a spin on the Christmas Carol a Partridge in a Pear tree. Instead of gifting birds and drums, I created special days just for the girls.
Some examples of days I included: an ornament gauged to their personality like their favorite Disney Princess or favorite sports activity; favorite snacks; things most used daily like batteries, paper and pens and art supplies; pajamas; books; a charity day (where they could give to their favorite charity)
My favorite day was a day for me and Joe to write a letter to each of them pouring over them, telling them how awesome they were and their accomplishments for the year. Yes, we have done this every year for twenty five-ish years except maybe two when we got delayed out of town or something like that. As the kids read them over the years, they can see what they’ve overcome and recall some memories. Another intention we had was to have the 12th day land on Christmas Eve Eve with pajamas and celebrate Christmas a day or two early so we wouldn’t have to worry if there were other family dynamics to negotiate like who gets them for Christmas morning or Christmas dinner, etc. This not only saves wrangling and fighting, we get to have some early magic.
There are no limits to what you can do. Ask your relatives and friends about traditions and celebrations they have and create yours from that! There is a children’s book called “I Am in Charge of Celebrations,” by Byrd Baylor, where she creates holidays from everyday things around her like Triple Rainbow Day and Dust Devil Day (when she saw 7 dust devils in one day. What do you notice you do as a family often? What foods do you The last five years, I have given the 12 days a theme. They love Harry Potter, so each day was a quote and an item from Harry Potter. There was Dr. Seuss and
We also had pizza days, making fort days, Easter traditions, family meetings and more. AGAIN, THERE ARE NO LIMITS TO WHAT YOU CAN CREATE!
Oh, and so you know how the ending of the story goes. The kids stopped groaning about the 12 days of Christmas and started marking them on their calendars, asking, “What day does the 12 days start on?” Our family really enjoys that this is OUR HOLIDAY.
As the new year comes around, I will be doing more content on blended families to help you navigate those tough transitions. Together, we will make it through.
Bless your journey, and write me if you have a question, concern, or want to suggest a topic. Marie@Mariesgold.com Love, Marie (aka LuvRev)