𝗧𝘂𝗲𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀. (Sharing one of our family traditions each Tuesday during the holiday season. Week 1 was the Christmas Bed - link to that post in comments, and this is week 2!)
𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗮 𝗛𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗨𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗲
I have vivid memories of coming down the stairs in the early morning to find my dad and his coffee sitting by the twinkle of the tree with a book in his lap and Christmas hymns quietly pouring from the old record player. I loved that sight. I loved the quiet invitation the moment seemed to present to climb into his lap and join him. I still feel warm now thinking back to it.
It maybe wasn't intended as a tradition, just something that gave him joy and peace that he did over and over again - but that's exactly what breeds the best traditions.
And I wanted to pull that memory, those moments, this tradition into my own house and family during the Christmas season.
So each Christmas I tuck a basket or bin full of Christmas books under the tree. I toss in a few Santa hats because reading with them on is a piece of the tradition that my own kids have added.
I've learned that by putting visual reminders of behaviors (habits....traditions) we want to remember to engage in, right into our living space we are more likely to follow through. (Thank you to James Clear of ‘Atomic Habits' for that insight gem.) That way our eyes are more likely to fall on those visual reminders, and then we're more likely to respond. So - the Christmas books and the Santa hats (our visual reminders) go right under the tree where we'll see them each day and be prompted again and again to engage.
𝗟𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀 𝗹𝗼𝘄, 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱, 𝘁𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗸𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗲, 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝗻𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱.
It's simple. It's focused on connection. It doesn't take fancy or expensive to create one of the more treasured traditions and memories in the hearts of our kids. All the good feels from the visual sparkle of the lights, the auditory senses soaking in the music and the soothing sound of your voice, the feel of warmth and love in your lap, the message of whatever book is in hand - it all adds up to a shared experience, a tradition, a memory that will last a lifetime.
(See comments for one more tradition inspired by one of our Christmas books. And as always, I'd LOVE to hear about your traditions!)