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Raising Wayland: Seasonal Family Traditions

Traditions keep memories alive. What are some of your family's favorite holiday traditions?

This time of year brings lots of memories and magical feelings for many of us.  Whether it's which family member says the prayer while lighting the menorah, when to decorate the tree, or what special foods to eat, many of us take part in traditions established many years ago.

Traditions are even more special when there is some kind of personal family story behind it to explain how it came about. However, sometimes no one knows where they came from or how they came to be, but they still can seem just as important.

My family now has a tradition of our own. You will find green apple ornaments on our Christmas tree and green apples in our stockings on Christmas morning.

Here is the story behind the apples: After looking at catalogs of toys for a month, our 2-year-old son climbed onto Santa's lap and very sweetly asked for one green apple for Christmas. That's all he wanted. So now we have made it an active memory by making it a Harding family tradition to have green apples in our stockings and on our tree.

Kathleen Surdan December 07, 2011 at 08:25 PM
When I was a kid, my siblings and I were given one gift each on Christmas eve. In the boxes were the new pajamas we'd wear to bed that night. I can still remember that aweseome feeling, snuggling in with the new pjs on, waiting for Santa. My sisters and I have kept that tradtion going. There are ten kids, now aged 19 down to 7, who will be getting new pajamas on Christmas eve this year. My teenagers always make a big fuss pretending they don't know what the gifts are. I know they'd be really disappointed if we ever discontinued the tradition!
Amy Simmons December 08, 2011 at 11:21 AM
Most of our holiday traditions center around LOTS of time with family. I often find myself complaining about all of the traveling that we do from Thanksgiving through New Year's (this year that includes Philadelphia, Syracuse and two trips to Vermont, as well as the logistics - with kids - of never being home at Christmas), but then we think about staying home by ourselves and just can't imagine not being with the extended family of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, and cousins at this time of year, and so we pack up the car with presents and books on CDs for another road trip. We also try to kick off the December holiday season with some sort of special trip - someplace like Edaville for the nighttime train ride and lights, Jordan's furniture for the Christmas Village and light show, a caroling sing-a-long, or this year is Boston Ballet's Nutcracker. Just making more holiday memories!
Jenny Harding December 11, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Kathleen, we started the same pajama tradition last year in our house. I will call it a tradition because I want to do it every year! The kids LOVE sleeping in them and opening their presents in them first thing in the morning!!!

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