I love holiday traditions. My parents and grandparents did a wonderful job of filling my childhood with beautiful traditions that made the holiday season so special for me and my sister--our annual trip to Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park, opening a gift of matching pjs on Christmas Eve night, a Christmas Eve gathering at my grandparent's house that felt like something out of a movie, and so many more.
The main thing that stands out to me about holiday traditions is that they're best when kept simple. When they're forced, complicated, or rushed, they stop being fun and start being stressful. It's easy to compare our own lives to the holiday events that we see on Hallmark movies or social media. But I think it's important to remember that traditions are really just about spending time with the people that matter to us, rather than creating a picture perfect event. When I think back on the holiday traditions I grew up with, there is absolutely nothing fancy about them. They're just about being together.
As we are beginning to make our own traditions as a family of three, I want to keep these things in mind. One night every December Will, Lily, and I put on our special holiday pjs and get in the car. We pick up a couple of our best friends, get coffee and treats, and track down a copy of our small town's newspaper so we can see which houses have made the Chamber of Commerce list of best decorated houses. We map out a route, turn on the holiday music, check out the lights, and have the best time just laughing and being together.
This tradition started years before Lily was born. It's become something that we all look forward to and make sure to schedule time for, because it's important to us to be together. This year we're going to use some of Lily's personalized stationary from Fernandina Paper Co. to drop off notes at our favorite houses, thanking the owners for going to the effort to spread holiday cheer in a time when it is so needed.
The holidays will be different this year. We will all likely miss out on traditions we've come to look forward to and so many of us will be missing someone we love. My Paw Paw passed away last March and my Maw this June, so this will be my family's first Christmas Eve without them. But I will have the years of holiday memories that they helped me make to hold in my heart, and I will remember to treasure every minute I do have with the people I love:)
I was so honored to have our family tradition featured by Charlotte Sy Dimby, among a collection of other beautiful traditions from families around the world. I love this brand and the way they use something as simple as children's clothing to spread positivity and kindness. It's such a great reminder and challenge to me to use everything I do and all that I have for good. See our article here!