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Traditionally Speaking

December is here, and we’re about ready to check off another year. It’s hard to believe that 2010 is just around the corner. (Stock photo by djayo)

December is a traditional month of celebrations, whether it’s Hanukkah (12th), Winter Solstice (21st), Festivus (23rd), Christmas (25th), Kwanzaa (26th), or just the fact that we’ve made it through another year. You don’t have to be a religious person to find joy and peace in the season. (Even though peace and quiet may be hard to find until well into January.)

December is not only the traditional month of celebrations, it’s also the celebratory month of traditions.

Our daughter was born four years ago, and with the beginning of our new family came the start of new traditions for us. We moved away from our Midwestern relatives over 10 years ago, and while we’ll always cherish the memories of our childhood, creating new traditions in our own little family here in Colorado has been so exciting. For us, there is something magical about new traditions, knowing they hold the potential to be passed along through the generations, just as their older counterparts are.

Traditions of old are special, and I think it’s great to pass those along through the generations, if that’s what’s important to you. I’m also a firm believer in starting new traditions. Which is more beautiful, a rose in full bloom or that first tiny bud? I dare say they both smell sweet.

I don’t know about you, but I love experiencing “First Annual” events. If it’s a big hit, we’ll do it again next year, and a new tradition is born. If it doesn’t go as planned, it’s pretty easy to adjust or scrap the idea altogether for next year. It’s easy to have fun when you’re the one making up the rules.  Every tradition we celebrate in December started somewhere.

What traditions do you have in your house? Do you put up a Christmas Tree? Do you hang Stockings by the Chimney with care? Do you light the Menorah? Is an unadorned Festivus Pole more your style? Do you hide a stuffed Grinch somewhere in the house every day in December and wait to see who finds him first?

What traditions, new or old, are special to you? Share with us, and check back to see how everyone celebrates December!

Author: JoAnn

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  1. We have a lot of Christmas traditions at our house. We always kick it off by putting up our tree the day after Thanksgiving and have an advent calendar all of December. We also make gingerbread houses and always make oodles of treats for our neighbors and friends.

    Christmas Eve is my favorite of all. We invite oodles of people over and have everyone bring their favorite appetizer. We do a fun gift exchange game where we draw numbers, play the bells my grandpa cut for me, the left-right game, read the Christmas story and have a grand ‘ol time together!

  2. I have an advent wreath I made in pottery class that we use – maybe not exactly on the right dates… and Declan loves his advent calendar from Oma. And very cool wood one with littler drawers for each day.

  3. We have a lot of Christmas traditions as well. Last we we bought a wooden Advent calendar with a door for each day. I plan a small activity for the weekdays and larger activities for the weekends. Peyton loves opening the door each day to see what we get to do.
    This morning we just made a paper chain for Advent. Some other things we’ll do are: shop for a needy child, cut out paper snowflakes, Disney on Ice, watch Christmas videos, make Christmas cookies, etc. I LOVE this time of the year and wanted to celebrate all month long!

  4. We love our traditions, Christmas and otherwise. Since our daughter was born (almost 3 years ago), we’ve been going to ZooLights. It is chilly, but we pack up the cocoa and always have a great time ooh-ing and aah-ing at the beautiful light displays and now it’s really fun for her to see her beloved zoo at night.

    We also spend holidays with our family, but on the first or second week of December, we get away from all the hustle and bustle and go to the mountains (we have a place there) and bake cookies with our best friends. Now in the 5th year, there are 4 kids total! Sometimes we ski, sometimes we sled or go up on the gondolas, but we always have fun.

  5. When we were kids, my sisters and I would give our parents their gifts in the form of a game show — a different one each year. They would then have to “win” their presents.

    My kids are now about the right age to resurrect that tradition!

  6. We take the kids to stay in a hotel downtown. Denver has great deals on hotels ($52.80 even for the very nice places downtown!) through Mile High Holidays. We go to see Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo, then spend the night downtown. It’s a nice little adventure for the kids and they always remember “going to the city”. (Of course, my 4 year old probably likes riding the 16th Street Mall shuttle bus the best!)

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