Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Traditions…Old and New

My husband and I recently celebrated our third wedding anniversary. Like many other couples we each brought our own traditions into our new family. I am a big fan of having traditions because in the craziness of life these simple activities can provide some stability.

Since I started my PhD the fall after we got married, this is the first year we were able to spend the entire holiday season together. This has allowed us to really think about the old traditions we want to keep and the new ones we would like to start. Here are some of the traditions we have decided to create for our family.

Molasses and Oatmeal
Christmas Cookies – This is not a tradition that is unique to my family, but some of my favorite Christmas memories involve baking with my mother or grandmother. These women taught me how to bake and this is still one of my favorite traditions. I made a couple of batches of cookies this weekend, and it really put me into the Christmas spirit.

Celebrating Christmas through the Feast of the Epiphany – Growing up, the Christmas decorations were normally taken down by New Year’s Day at the latest. Once Christmas was over and the presents were opened, it was a blink of an eye and the decorations were put away until the next year. In my husband’s family, they kept the decorations up through the Feast of the Epiphany and this is the tradition we chose to keep. In addition to the fact I love Christmas, I think this reminds us that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.

An Ornament from St.
Augustine, FL. One of our
favorite places.
Collecting Ornaments – I am not someone who collects keepsakes or knickknacks or really anything. I don’t like clutter and most of these things are just something else to clean around. My one exception to this rule is ornaments. It is something I began doing as a young adult and it is something that my husband and I continue currently. When we go on vacation or do something special, we often look for an ornament as a souvenir. This means that our Christmas tree is full of memories.

As my husband and I are together for longer and start to think about having a family there are other traditions we would like to begin. One is having matching stockings for each member of the family, and another is celebrating Saint Nicholas Day. Hopefully our, currently hypothetical, children will continue some of these traditions when they have a family of their own.