2019 Photo Courtesy of My Dad

If there’s anything I’ve learned since officially moving out of my parents’ house, it would be the importance of traditions. Spending my first holidays not at home were difficult at first, but continuing traditions I used to do with family made me feel connected to them. Also, starting our own traditions together has helped my emotions remain grounded.

In the interest of the holiday spirit, here are a few of my family’s new and old traditions accompanied by low quality photos/video screenshots!

Christmas Tree Cutting

Since I was in high school my grandpa and I always took a trip up to our hunting land to cut down our own Christmas trees over Thanksgiving break. This is the first year I haven’t been able to participate since I spent the holiday with my husband’s family. At first I was really sad they were going without me, but I’m thankful the tradition was carried on with my younger sister.

From left to right –– 2016, 2016, 2017, 2018

The Annual Tater Toss

About 2-3 years ago, my mom and I made a game out of making mashed potatoes (my family is always in charge of bringing the 10 pounds of mashed potatoes to holidays). Once washed, peeled, and quartered, we set a pot of water to boil the potatoes in on the floor with a towel under it. From there we stand on the other side of the kitchen and see how many we can make in the pot. We call it the Annual Tater Toss. I got all choked up knowing my mom was peeling and tossing potatoes without me, so I volunteered to bring the mashed potatoes to Thanksgiving with my new family. And yes, of course Andrew and I had our own Tater Toss in the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning.

New Traditions

One of the hardest things about being married is trying to choose where to go for holidays. It was extremely difficult to miss that Thanksgiving meal with my family, but carrying on our old traditions with my new family helped me feel as if I were with them. It’s like I suddenly wasn’t missing as much, because we were doing the same thing, and sharing videos, from a distance.

This got me thinking about new traditions I can start with Andrew…

We planned on having tacos and margaritas in celebration of him finishing up with finals this semester. Even though he won’t have finals around Christmas in the future, we can still have an Allen Christmas Fiesta every year!

I would also like to take a “staged” holiday-themed photo to compare side-by-side each year. I don’t have many ideas yet, so if you have one to share I would love to hear your suggestions!

I want to hear about the kinds of traditions you share with your families and/or significant others. Share in the comments below or send me a message. I may even feature your tradition in this post, or on my Instagram!

Don’t have any traditions yet? Here are some tips for creating your own new traditions:

  • Make the dull things fun
  • Do things you enjoy annually (tradition, duh)
  • Make the ordinary extraordinary

Happy holidays, friends!

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