Sunday, December 4, 2011

In With the New

I love family traditions.  More specifically, I love my family traditions.  I love that we put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.  I love that we choose a different Christmas book each year to read aloud in the evenings.  I love that we dance in the kitchen with the Christmas music blaring.  I love that we visit the Christmas lights at the beach the week before Christmas.  I love that we eat pizza on Christmas Eve and leave the tree lights on all night until Christmas morning. 

But sometimes, it's necessary to break a tradition.  This year we decided to forego our yearly caroling outing.  I also decided not to keep up with my Christmas notebook this year-- my very simple scrapbook of mementos for each Christmas season.  While we loved both of those traditions, this year we needed to let them go.  Though it was disappointing to abandon a family tradition, it has allowed time for new adventures and new traditions. 

Saturday was our small town's Christmas parade. 

We realized this week that our kids have never been to a Christmas parade.  They watch the one on TV every year, but they've never seen one for themselves.  It's not always easy taking babies out in the cold, and since we've been married, there has been a new baby every other year.  I started getting sentimental saying how wonderful it would be to introduce our kids to a fun Christmas event.  Then Brian told me he had never been a Christmas parade either!  So my 32-year-old husband and our five children got to have this first experience together. 


Maddie and Benjamin, our two independent spirits, plopped down on the sidewalk to wait...and ask, "Is it going to start soon?" about thirty-seven times.  Once it started, Benjamin was much more interested in the pile of candy we had collected than the floats and marching bands. 


Alaine started out bundled in her stroller...then threw off her hat and moved to the sidewalk with her big brother and protector, Gavin.  She was a tough little cookie, though.  She didn't even flinch when the firetrucks blew their big honking horns. 

{And just when did she turn from baby to toddler with all that hair?!}


Our Owen  is a sensitive soul so he enjoyed the parade from his Daddy's arms where he had the best view of us all! 


Okay.  So maybe this post was just an excuse to show off pictures of my kids, but maybe not.  Maybe it is also a reminder to you to cling to those family traditions-- the ones that cement your family and make you unique, but also not to be afraid to leave a few traditions behind to start new ones.

How are you making memories this December? 

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