Every family has their own traditions that they do for holidays. It may be the menu, watching a certain movie, or playing a football game together. Traditions help us to feel connected to each other and give us something to look forward to.
Our family has traditions that we do each year. My mom and dad are great about keeping things going for us "kids" and now for their grandkids. Even with my family living out of town for eight years, they still tried to have us involved as much as possible. It really helped with the "away from family during the holidays" feeling that I had.It was also great for our boys to grow up with those traditions and be connected to family.
My Mom Bakes and My Dad Cuts the Turkey
Every year, Mom bakes the pumpkin pie and makes all of the food, while Dad swoops in to cut the turkey. I know this seems trivial, but it makes it special that they do those things. Each year while we were away, I would think about them doing these things and it gave me comfort even though I was far away. This year, I will be able to help with some of the baking and the making and I'm looking forward to it.
Counting the Candy in the Candy Jar
Who doesn't like candy? This is a very simply and fun game that everyone likes to play. Simply fill a jar/container with your favorite fall candy, like candy corn or M&Ms. Make sure that you fill the jar and count all of the candy that are in it. Then as everyone comes over for Thanksgiving, have them write down how many candies they think are in the jar. Then, once everyone has guessed, read all of the guessed and the person who came the closest to the actual number, WINS! What do they win? The jar of candy, of course! Click on the picture below for a printable candy counting guess card to use this Thanksgiving.
First Ornament of the Christmas Season
My parents, each year, have gotten us a Christmas ornament and they give them out on Thanksgiving. They wanted us to have our own ornaments once we moved out of the house. They have continued this tradition even now that we are all out of the house and we have children. They get all of the us as well as the grandchildren each an ornament each year. It's exciting to see what ornaments everyone gets each year. Even while we were out of town, they always just shipped the ornaments to us. It was like getting a little piece of home while we were away.
Name Choosing for Christmas Gifts
In our family, we buy for the children and then we choose a name from the adults to get them a gift and we keep it as a surprise. We chose to do this because everyone has what they need and it was becoming financially difficult for some of us who don't have as big of an income. We haven't been in involved in this up until now since being away, but I am excited to be involved in this. I have been thinking of each person that I might get and what I could get them...that way I'm prepared for who I get. Click on the picture below to print out name cards that you can use to put everyone's names on for choosing.
Now go out and make your own traditions!