The idea of creating traditions for my kids is taking a new shape each year that they become more and more aware of themselves, of us, and of the big world around them.
There’s a new element to consider for me while we evaluate what traditions look like in a place where we’re still building new relationships, where we’re still figuring out which traditions we bring forward from our old home, and which traditions we start in our new home.
There’s also a (sad?) reality that some traditions will be outgrown by our family at some point. Just as the kids didn’t ‘get’ the magic of Santa until really recently, they will too soon stop believing. (E already announced that he firmly doesn’t believe in Santa’s sleigh, so our time is limited, I know.)
Last year I went hard. It was a combination of excitement at being in f*#ing New York City, at being in f*#ing New York City for Christmas, and the fact that the kids were finally starting to react to the whole magic of the holidays.
We saw windows and trains and nutcrackers and enormous trees. We skated outdoors, and had $10 hot cocoas. We watched movies and listened to a lot of Mariah Carey and Michael Buble.
And we ate the weird recipes that are part of my Christmas repertoire that Brett tolerates and the kids actually walk away from. Becuase that is a tradition that I still hang on to.
This year the weird recipes are queued up. And we’ve done a few of the same things that we did last year in the city, scratched a few off the list (mostly because I have learned that schlepping is a thing and it kind of sucks when you’re tired and have stuff much more accessible to enjoy), and added some new things to the list.
This tradition below- it’s one of my favourites, and I hope it lasts for a while, and I hope my own turkeys happily pick it up with their monkeys one day.
Slight variation- we were schooled and told that we needed to hang a special ‘Santa key’ on the door handle. How in the hell else does the Big Guy get into your apartment? I went to the hardware store, found some obscure key and extra dangly stuff, and we have a key that the kids will hang on the knob, with a plate of Whole Foods cookies for him to enjoy in the hall. Hope it doesn’t attract rats.