Our minimalist Christmas - part 2

Last week, I mentioned how we are simplifying our Christmas in the decorations area. Today, I'm addressing traditions. Many of you have already started traditions with your family such as an advent calendar or maybe it's an Elf on the Shelf. Whatever you are already doing, keep with it, unless it's making you crazy and if that's the case, by all means let it go. If your spouse finds you curled up in the fetal position in your closet crying (I've personally experienced this), then this is not good. Your sanity and that of your family is much more important.

For several years, after Steve and I moved back to Birmingham, we had the annual tradition of cooking a fancy meal and inviting friends and family over on Christmas Eve. We would do a standing rib roast with fresh horseradish and mashed potatoes, salad, and sometimes my mother would make a chocolate roulage log. Simply divine. But then we had kids. And to rush home from our Christmas Eve service to finish cooking a meal while children were crying and hungry did not work. Also, trying to keep sticky hands from pulling my beloved Herend china off the table was near impossible. So last year we changed the tradition. That's the wonderful thing about traditions. You dictate them. You get to change them and alter them and you get the option to say, "hmmm that really didn't work for us last year."

Last year, I borrowed an idea from my friend, Michelle (who has given me lots of great ideas) who started a tradition of eating Japanese hibachi with her husband on Christmas Eve the first year they got married. Five children later and they never stopped that practice. It sounded fun and yummy to me along with no dishes to clean, and what kid isn't mesmerized by a volcano made out of onions and fire? Last year, we did the hibachi dinner and had a wonderful time. This year we will do it again. Simplify!

As the years go by and our children get older and can show restraint with mommy's crystal and all things breakable :), we may get back to a home cooked Christmas Eve meal. Or we may continue eating japanese remembering that the point of the tradition is to create solidarity between your family and give them a special memory. As they grow up and get married, they will create new traditions with their spouses. And so the tradition continues... the tradition is to make new and special memories with your family whatever that looks like for you.

What new tradition are you implementing this year and what are you discarding?