Blog,  Family

The holiday season: What are your traditions?

The holiday season is here, as Hallmark reminds us every day with their Holiday movies lineup. To watch or not to watch…?

This is the first year I’ve found myself caught up in the lives portrayed by Hallmark, and while they’re anything but “real,” they’re strangely addictive.

Tradition is the consistent theme throughout these movies. I mentioned not long ago that my family actually doesn’t have traditions, per se, more of a general routine… I was wrong. My little family of four does have “traditions” of a sort, they’re just not the classic themes you see on a Hallmark movie.

Accepting change during the holidays

Since my parents passed away, things have been different, obviously, but the changes really take center stage during the holidays. In the last month, I’ve found myself thinking too much about family traditions. The subject has been on my mind a lot (which maybe explains the Hallmark movies addiction), but I’ve come to the realization that I’m missing out on my “now” moments.

I’ve finally accepted that the holidays will never be the way they used to be, and while I’ll always be saddened by the loss of old traditions, I’m ready to focus instead on embracing what traditions we have today and anticipating those that are yet to come.

What counts as a tradition, anyhow? Is there some rule that says it has to be a gathering of the entire extended family sitting around a stuffed dinner table with a gift exchange, games, and caroling? Does it have to be a family excursion into the snowy woods with an ax searching for the perfect Christmas tree?

I think traditions are things you do from your heart, things that are not done as an obligation but rather as something anticipated, no matter how big or small. When traditions are observed out of obligation, when they are done as though a chore, they lose all meaning.

Simple, quirky things can become the most memorable traditions

Simi and the Christmas tree skirt

There are little, quirky things that my little family does that I did not realize that my kids consider traditions. For example, the Christmas tree skirt.  Each year, the second the red and green velvet tree skirt is laid under the tree, Simi and CC claim a spot and don’t move until the tree comes down. Each year, my husband tries valiantly to remove the cat hair from the velvet from the previous year, and each year, we’re all perfectly okay with having cat hair permanently affixed to the velvet.

Well, this year, I decided I was changing the color scheme on the tree, which meant a new tree skirt. Simi and CC shunned the new sparkly silver satin skirt. The new skirt lasted less than a week, and the old velvet skirt was put back down. We all missed seeing the cats curled up in their favorite spot, snuggled up under the sparkling lights.

Then there are the stockings for each of our fur babies. I never realized how important having stockings under the tree for our critters was until just the other day when it was described as a Christmas morning “favorite.” The memories of watching Boz, then Gracie, and now Skeeter nose around for that mega-sized rawhide have imprinted and become a tradition, yet I never really saw it that way until now.

Remember yesterday, but embrace today

I’m enjoying the rediscovery of our little holiday traditions, and I’m ready to move forward and make new ones. Meaningful moments do not have to include big family gatherings and potluck dinners and ugly sweater themes; it can be something as simple as a huge rawhide just waiting under the tree to be discovered Christmas morning – making both the dog and your son… and thereby, you… very, very happy.

From my family to yours, wishing you the simple joys of the holiday season,






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Cover Photo (Cardinal) by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

From columnist to blogger, Tina began writing in 2015. She blends the various bits of her life — professional, entrepreneurial, and personal — and shares her experiences with you. Tina's Coffee Break became the means for her to express herself on seemingly random subjects, but subjects that are on her mind and in her heart at the moment — things we can all relate to many times. Simply put, Tina writes about life’s moments. Tina has managed her court reporting business for over 20 years. She owned her community newspaper for several years where she first discovered her love for writing through her weekly newspaper column, "Tina's Coffee Break." She was a member of her community's town council for six years, the last three presiding over it as president. Drawing from all facets of her life experience, Tina now provides business strategy guidance to others working to build their own success story. A mother of two, wife for 32 years, and businesswoman of 25 years, a piece of Tina is in everything she writes.

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