12 Days of Christmas Tips – Day 1: Start New Traditions

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12 Days of Christmas Tips – Day 1: Start New Traditions

Sometimes we get set in our way of doing things, and we miss out on opportunities to make changes that will make things better. I think this is especially true during the holidays. So I am suggesting that you consider starting new traditions. Sometimes it can help if you are in a transition time in your family; at other times, it can just make a good time even better. Let me offer 3 examples from my own life.

1) When my children were in grade school, our family went through a divorce. Part of the impact of that on them was that some traditions that we established early in their lives were going to change. I talked to my kids about what they thought would be a fun way to do certain things, like decorating, shopping, and celebrating. Since they had a voice in helping make decisions, they seemed to value what we did, and those things quickly became new traditions that were important to them.

2) My extended family had celebrated in the same manner, on the same day, since before my sisters and I were adults. But about 12 years ago, we decided to make a change. We adjusted our gift-giving and the order and focus our celebration. While I was initially skeptical (because I enjoyed the old traditions), the new approach soon became the expected way of doing things, and we had a great time and enjoyed our holiday even more. Now, if you ask someone in our family “how do you do Christmas” they will tell you about our current method, not the “old” way of doing things. It has become our family tradition, and the previous approach is just a distant memory.

3) In the last few years, even as my own children were at the point of being adults and had significant others, we were still following the same traditions in our immediate family that we had for 10 years. In our blended family, it meant that my wife and I were cramming three days worth of holiday get togethers into one 24 hour period. It was exhausting. While we certainly enjoyed the time we spent with all of our family members, by the afternoon of Christmas Day we were worn out. Then two years ago, as I was talking to my son about upcoming holiday plans, I had an idea, and asked if he would like to have our immediate family Christmas celebration a couple of days earlier than normal. It would allow him and his fiancé the chance to spend time with her family, my son’s mother, and us without having to be rushed or to miss something. We planned an evening at a nice restaurant on the 23rd, went back to our house for gift-giving and some fun and games, and started our 3 Days of Christmas tradition! Now our family get-togethers are unrushed, relaxed, and even more enjoyable. We also get to spread out the fun over multiple days, and I don’t put my grown children in a position of not being able to satisfy all the different families that want to see them during the holiday. The 3 Days of Christmas, although a new tradition for us, is already one of the things I most look forward to over the holidays!

If you are looking for a new tradition, you might consider the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade.  It is celebrating its 26th year on Saturday, December 7, 2013 in downtown Dallas. Think about attending this year’s parade as you start new traditions in your family. It just might become a cherished moment you look forward to every year.

I hope you will check back for all 12 days of our Christmas tips. We look forward to your thoughts and comments as well.



Keith Owens is the owner and founder of Owens Investigations.


Photo credit: DonJinTX / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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One Comment

  1. Well, as the Dallas – Ft. Worth metroplex residents already know, this weekend has changed dramatically with the ice storm that has rolled through the area, and the second round of ice that is expected on Saturday.

    I mentioned in the blog post that a possible new tradition might be to attend the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade. Unfortunately, they announced today that for the first time in 26 years the parade has been cancelled due to the unsafe road conditions and the expected teen temperatures in tomorrow’s forecast. So you might want to put the parade on your list for next year, because I am sure it will be a doubly impressive one in 2014!

    In the meantime, I hope you will find other fun things to enjoy as you make new traditions with your family. Please share your ideas and traditions with all of us in the comments section here!

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