New Traditions.


I am a person that totally enjoys the holidays, and my favorite of them all is Christmas. I enjoy all parts of it: putting up and decorating the tree; shopping for and wrapping presents; Christmas shopping to find just the right gifts for those that I love; making cookies; and all sorts of Christmas songs and carols. It is like Christmas, in addition to its traditional, spiritual meaning, represents for a few short weeks, how I feel about the world, and my life, all year long.

I am also a person that likes tradition, to have a yearly ritual that feels like familiarity and comfort. And, this year, I found myself to have a bout of insecurity of what that would look like for me, as I am creating this new life and moving forward.

You see, for the last few years, for the lifetime of my daughter, my yearly Christmas tradition, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, was spent with our own household celebration, and also spent with my former partner’s family. Don’t misunderstand me; I enjoyed those celebrations every year. Yet, there was a lacking of it being created with my own family.

In addition, when I went out on my own two years ago, there was also the nagging notion that I somehow didn’t have any of my own traditions; that since I was single for a long time since then, that I was without tradition, for me or my daughter, and that somehow, that meant that I was lacking in a way. That it was a situation that I couldn’t do anything about, for her or for me.

SO funny, and so not true!

I realized, through the wisdom of my beloved, that not having traditions in place simply means that I haven’t created them yet; and that, I can create a new tradition any time that I want to for myself, for my daughter, and for me to have with my partner.

In addition, I don’t have to compare what is a fifty year tradition with what I get to create. I don’t have to measure up, or be the same as, what anyone else has for themselves. And, I get to enhance for my daughter whatever she already has in place, with what we get to create together.

So, 2012 is the year of new traditions, that get to be built on my presence of the importance of this holiday to me. I get to make it whatever I want it to be, and whatever I don’t want either. So, what are the essential ingredients that I get to work with?

Cookies. Carols. Shopping. Wrapping. Presents. Stockings. Tree decorating. Snow. Cooking.

And, of course,



One thought on “New Traditions.

  1. 🙂 We are pretty close by… and our lil part of your family wants to be part of your traditions, too. Our traidtions are changing as our older kids have started new work phases in their lives. What we have held as our tradition for more than 10 years will be different for us too this year. A big change for what the lil boys have grown up knowing and expecting. The only “same” will likely be that we go to church together at 10:30pm on Christmas Eve. The rest we are still unsure of… The traditions I grew up with couldn’t carry over when we left Illinois, because they were about the people and not the activties. So, life changes and we create the best we can for our kids with what we have now. I keep the bits and pieces – tell the same story to the boys when I put Gram Stapleton’s ornament on the top back of our tree, tell the kids that this is Gramma Judie’s cranberry dish every time it hits a holiday table, etc. And the kids create what they want for themselves… like dragging Keith onto the floor to assmeble the train they insist must go under the tree. (even though it falls over and never makes a full circle.) As much as I love the perfect “hallmark” Christmas that we see on TV, that isn’t what our family has together. We have our Christmas. It’s quirky and loud and has its ups and downs – just like the rest of our life! Guess that is what our tradition is…

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