For better or for worse, if you've experienced any significant life changes recently, the holidays can amplify those shifts. While returning to traditions can be one of the most comforting parts of celebrating a holiday, adopting and adapting to new ones can be a positive way to adjust to fluctuations in our individual lives and family structure.
I have this topic in mind now because I'm a newlywed planning to spend my first Christmas with my in-laws (whose company, I should add, I enjoy). It's the second Christmas that I've spent away from my own immediate family and the house I grew up in...and I'm feeling a little sentimental.
The change has me thinking about the big and small family traditions that make this holiday special for me, including a mellow, song-filled Christmas Eve service at a nearby Moravian church, and then scratch-off lottery tickets and peanut and plain M&Ms in our stockings.
Last year I started my own little tradition of buying one new ornament each Christmas (inadvertently settling on an animal theme). This year I've made and hung stockings in my house, and I'll fill them with the aforementioned lotto chances and chocolate candy. My gifts may or may not involve Moravian stars. At the end of the month, I look forward to experiencing my husband's family's traditions, the only one I know about being a dinner of Chateaubriand steak.
All of this is to say that returning to familiar traditions make holidays special, but that there's always room to stumble upon, create, or partake in new ones. How have your traditions changed over the years?
MORE HOLIDAY TRADITIONS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• On Starting Your Own Family Holiday Traditions
• Hiding the Pickle & Other Weird Holiday Traditions
• Share Your Favorite Holiday Traditions
(Image: Flickr user gruntzooki licensed for user under Creative Commons)