One thing I always love about Christmas are the traditions that go with it, many of them long-standing family traditions. Of course, each culture and each family have their own variations.
Here in Hungary, and with my family, we traditionally decorate the Christmas tree with the kids, on December 24th. I know in many western cultures the tree goes up on December 1st, but over here we make the children wait! The presents are secretly delivered on Christmas Eve night, not by Santa Claus, but by the little Jesus. That evening we have a special family dinner. Our festive fare is usually turkey (with plum and red wine) and/or fish (salmon, in our case). In common with so many parents world-wide, my husband and I are tiptoeing around later putting presents under the tree. December 25th and 26th are for our extended family. This year we are hosting a big family dinner on Christmas Day.
I think there comes a time in most families when you start to make some changes to the usual (family) traditions, especially when you have your own children and when your own immediate family grows and changes. This is such a time for me and my family.
The first Christmas of my new baby son, seems a timely season to do this. I know that sometimes change is not always welcomed with open arms and in some families it can be regarded with some unhappiness and even, obstruction! I once read somewhere that Christmas is one of the most stressful times for many people, up there with the experiences of bereavement and divorce!!
Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go for it. You know I’m a person who has no problem with change and I love anything new. Well the changes we have agreed on this year aren’t that bad. In fact, they’re very good and I’m confident we’ll all enjoy them. Instead of making 1000 km trips over the Christmas/New Year period with two youngsters and a baby, we’ll be postponing those visits until January and instead, hosting the family festivities from our own home. I’m looking forward to it!
Is this a Christmas of change for you? If you are making new festive family traditions or celebrating with the old ones, I’d love to hear about it, especially what your cultural traditions are – you know what a culture vulture I am!
Whatever you plan, I send you my warmest best wishes for a happy, harmonious and healthy Christmas.