The holidays make the world safe and cozy with food, family and faith. It’s that time of year when we can slow down and get away from the endless lists and distractions that school and work can bring. I think most people get nostalgic this time of year thinking about the way our grandparents celebrated the holidays.
There are certain old-fashioned traditions that will never get “old!”
1. Making Christmas cookies with grandma is something my children can’t wait to do…wearing a holiday apron, hands dusted in flour and sampling their hard work. We always make spiced cardamom cookies, sandtarts and fudge. Some of the recipes pay homage to our loved ones who are now gone. We think of them as we read their handwriting and taste their recipe.
2. My husband said on our weekend visit to Home Depot, “Why don’t we get a fake tree this year?” Sometimes he says things to get a rise out of us and this was one of those times! We looked at him like he was Scrooge until we saw that he was joking. Picking out a family Christmas tree is one of my favorite memory makers. The kids like to bury their faces in the tree and smell that piney smell. We went BIG this year…fifteen feet before a fresh cut big! It rivals the Griswold Family Christmas tree bringing smiles to all who see it. What’s more old-fashioned that a real tree?
3. December is the best time to check the mailbox! If we have a greeting card, we all gather around to open it together…it’s better than opening a present! It’s the one time of year that we send and receive happy wishes in the mail to family and friends near and far. Cards are an old-fashioned tradition that reconnects us…without social media.
4. It’s nice to give your child a special ornament every year. They become the treasures of the tree and hold such beautiful memories. Our children love to look at the ornaments that my husband and I had when we were their age. The older the ornament, the more nostalgic we feel.
5. The Nutcracker is an old-fashioned holiday tradition that truly puts you in the spirit of Christmas. Most people come to watch a certain dancer but end up sighing with happiness and feeling like a kid again with those warm feelings we remember from our childhood.
There are certain traditions that we always do…my mom makes a crown roast for Christmas Eve dinner, going to Christmas mass, opening up new pajamas on Christmas Eve and reading under the Christmas tree. This year, we put the tree up early and my kids have been camping out in their sleeping bags under the tree…I think it’s a great idea (just not on Christmas Eve)!
Let’s go back to celebrating Christmas the way our grandparents did …simple celebrations and old-fashioned traditions that honor family and the real reasons for the season.