As Becky and I approached the topic of traditions for our podcast a few weeks ago, my attitude going into the recording was ‘it’s time to break old traditions and start new ones!” Over the past years, since becoming a parent, I had the desire to start new traditions and stop doing the old ones that I have been experiencing for 40 years! And I LOVE the new traditions we have been making as a family, traveling, the elf on the shelf, wrapping the bedroom door on Christmas eve! It has been very exciting and very fun for all of us.
However, as we started to look back on our own childhood and revisit the memories of our youth, it was many of those traditions that I had “grown weary of” that held the most special place in my heart. It was the simple things that brought tears to my eyes when the memories popped up. My sisters and I shared a bed every Christmas Eve from the time they were toddlers until I got married. That was a hard tradition to leave behind, believe it or not! We would always watch It’s A Wonderful Life as we fell asleep. Inevitably, we would wake up before the sun and tip toe down the hall, careful not to wake our parents, and take a peek at the magical transformation of our living room. My daughters do this same thing now and it brings me so much joy to hears their giggles and laughter as they all tip toe out into the living room before dawn to peek!
I learned very quickly that when I look at Christmas, not through the eyes of my children, but through MY childhood eyes, I see what was really meaningful to me. I see that some of the traditions that I thought I wanted to leave behind were in fact traditions that meant more to me than I remembered. The old traditions were revived or re-sparked! It brought the Christmas magic back to life just by taking a good look at my childhood memories and seeing what was really important in the eyes of my younger self.
Now I see that there is value in both old and new traditions. I love the idea of blending both our old traditions from my childhood and my husbands childhood and sharing our memories of what it was like for us while creating the new traditions with our family that our children will have the opportunity to carry on as well.
Having the conversation with Becky renewed my memories and changed my mind about tradition. And it taught me about traditions that Becky does with her family which sounded awesome! Cold, but awesome! Who knows, maybe we will try a “polar plunge” this year! And I’m so glad we sat and chatted about it because it changed my perspective!
Maybe this season you can sit with someone you love and share childhood memories and your old and new traditions. Who knows, maybe it will spark a little magic in you too!