So what makes a Holiday Tradition? Is it something your family has always done? And is it something you have done for generations? And when "tradition" becomes a chore rather than something you enjoy, should you continue doing it? Over the years our holiday traditions included Thanksgiving dinner with family, celebrating a December birthday, decorating the house for Christmas, and then wrapping mountains of gifts. But in the last two years we have made big changes that will hopefully make the holidays more joyful and less stressful. We realized that decorating had gotten a bit out of hand when our kids referred to our house as a branch of a JoAnn's craft store. They weren't kidding - our house had begun to look like a holiday store. Setting up all of this holiday "cheer" took two weeks and during that time big rubbermaid containers lined the halls.
My husband didn't want to begin decorating until AFTER his birthday in mid-December so we usually weren't quite done by Christmas Eve and just put away whatever wasn't quite set up. And then taking it down again took another two weeks. I'm not quite sure how this whole thing started, or why it snowballed, but I blame HGTV.
Two years ago we decided to flaunt tradition. We skipped the tree and 75% of the decorations so that we could enjoy our two new kittens instead of worrying about them climbing the tree or breaking ornaments. The world didn't come to an end.