A few months ago, my boss requested the entire office figure out their holiday schedule so we could make sure all of our clients had coverage (#AgencyLife). I was sitting at a table in our office lounge with a few of my coworkers, when one of them asked me if I was traveling home (to Indiana) for the holidays.
Umm, no, I told her.
She gave me a semi-disgusted look, followed by a sharp tone: “So, do you just never see your family?”
My coworker is from Chicago, and recently moved to Austin with her husband. For every single holiday, they use precious PTO days (and weeks) to travel home to see both sets of parents.
While I respect the closeness of their family, it made me wonder why her and her husband didn’t have a desire to start their own traditions. Especially when we live in such a cool city!
I haven’t lived in Indiana for 13 years. For the first few years, I traveled home for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, and it was always fun, but it was also expensive and very tiring. Once I started staying in Louisiana, and now Texas, I found I can start my own traditions with my friends here – or even hosting my friends and family here.
Sure, as a kid, my family celebrated the holidays with traditions we’d formed over the years – some things as small as making sure each stocking had an orange and nuts in it – and some as big as traveling to certain states. And while old traditions are really fun, I think it’s pretty cool to start new ones.
All of this got me thinking a lot about traditions – everyone has their own and they all help them celebrate the holidays in different ways. So, I reached out to my friends on Facebook to see how they celebrated the holidays. Here’s what they said:
- We watch “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” every Thanksgiving
- Every New Year’s, we watch the complete Star Wars series and eat junk food. We have done it since I was born, but we have to start at 10 am
- Every New Year’s Eve, we take our Christmas tree to the center of the backyard, load it with fireworks and light it on fire! We’ve been doing this for at least 20 years.
- As you know, my dad is a hunter. Since we own land, our Thanksgiving dinner would often consist of what my dad killed that morning.
- On Christmas morning, we always have homemade cinnamon rolls and mimosas. My mom makes the cinnamon rolls from scratch and I make the mimosas!
- Growing up, we would always eat fondue on New Year’s Eve.
- My sister and I always open our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve, and open all other family gifts on Christmas day.
- When i was younger all of the women used to have a cookie exchange. Everybody would make a different kind of cookie, put them in individual bags for everyone to take home leaving enough to eat at the little party, and we would all spend the evening eating cookies and drinking coffee and milk it was an amazing tradition!
- We have a Swedish Tea Ring for breakfast, made the day before from the recipe in the circa 1950 edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook. We’ve made this thing for like 40 years or something, collectively. I’ve been making it since I was a kid. Still, no one has memorized or rewritten the recipe and we have to pull out that old crumbly book every year.
- My mom still has boxes from gifts me and my sisters got upwards of 20 years ago, and she reuses them for gifts every single year. She still has the box my 8th grade 5-cd-changer stereo came in. It’s kind of a running joke when we open a classic box, such as the box for the “digital” alarm clock I got in 5th grade. That box is so janky, but it keeps coming back.
On Thanksgiving we open our house up for the military members that didn’t get to go home for the holiday. On Christmas Eve I round up my minions to bake cookies to put in their stockings.…How cool, right? I’d love to hear what some of your traditions are, whether they’re ones that have always been with your family, or ones you’re hoping to start!