I love starting traditions.
Actually, starting new family traditions has been something I've enjoyed the most over the (almost) six years that Austin and I have been married. He will tell you that at almost every holiday or special occasion, I've tried to make traditions a regular thing. The problem: they don't always stick the way I wished they would.
We've done everything from carving pumpkins at Halloween (lasted one year) to sharing what we're thankful for at a nice pre-Thanksgiving meal (again, I think it lasted once). There have been a few flimsy Christmas cookie decorating sessions and staycations on our anniversary, but nothing that really stuck from year to year, despite my best efforts.
Whether you're a super-extra wife like me or a mom that wants to create special memories with your family, you totally get this struggle. We get ideas in our minds of things that would be fun for everyone to enjoy, but somehow our ideas don't stick from year to year as people and priorities change.
Why don't our traditions stick?
It's simple, really. Often I catch myself trying to force an idea that seems festive and fun on a hubby that has no interest in decorating cookies for 2 hours or scooping out sticky pumpkin guts. Instead of coming to terms with reality, we want to create movie-like, Instagram-worthy moments that our loved ones might not actually enjoy.
If you want to create a lasting family tradition that has everyone excited from year to year, keep it real with who you are as a family. Are you a family that loves to laugh? Are you active? What is your family dynamic? How can you relate to all age groups and genders in your family? These are the most important questions to consider when planning family traditions. Forget about what other families are doing - they're not you!
Our (One!) Lasting Family Tradition
Austin and I are food lovers, and we LOVE us some Mexican food! We started the tradition of Feliz Navidad back in 2015, and we've continued it every year since then. We'll change it up by doing salads, tacos, and nachos - we even did takeout last year since we were in a rush - but it never seems to get old. We find that it's a nice change of pace from the typical meat & potatoes meals we often eat at Christmastime.
Feliz Navidad through the years...
Feliz Navidad usually consists of fun margaritas and sangrias, but this year will look a little different with the baby on the way! Tonight's Feliz Navidad meal will feature tacos, red and green chips and guacamole, and Mexican hot chocolate. (Also considering going to Party City to find a sombrero party hat for Sadie Belle... we'll see!)
We listen to Latin Holiday music while we prep the food and eat, followed by opening our gifts from each other. For now, it's a very simple tradition with just the two of us, but I'm excited to see how it will evolve over the years as our family grows!
And that's the beauty of this tradition - it's simple! Nothing is forced, and it's meaningful enough to both of us that we've kept it alive throughout the years of our marriage. So should you try Feliz Navidad as your next family holiday tradition? Maybe. Or maybe not! Figure out what your family cares about and craft it into something special to you.
Feliz Navidad, everyone!