Celebrating with traditions

Last year, I wrote about our Christmas tradition and honestly, the post was quite well received. I had so much feedback on this one topic and realized that it really is such a hot button with so many people. I think maybe because it's the central cause of many heated discussions amongst family and friends each year. Traditions are hard. Mainly because we assimilate into families or friend groups with our own pre-existing ideas about what the holidays should look, feel and taste like. Essentially, every one has their own idea of what holidays should be. It gets complicated when you throw in parents, grand-parents, in-laws, and extended families. But here's the gist. The tradition for your family has to be your own. You can't own someone else's tradition. You can't take on the responsibility of making someone else's holiday. You can only be responsible for your own.

This season with our precious special needs son has been extremely difficult. For whatever reason, he has been having a hard time adjusting to some new changes in our lives, primarily being back in a school program. This transition for him has caused us to step back and re-evaluate some of our plans and traditions for the upcoming holidays. In the end, we decided that while we want to do things that are important and special to us, we ultimately had to own our own tradition this year and make it flexible to fit our special son.

This may not be the case next year or the year after that. But we are taking each moment at a time and constantly asking ourselves: is this a good fit for our son? And here's a very real example for that. Last year, we went for a Hibachi meal after our Christmas eve service. It was a disaster. It was too much stimulation: the knives banging, the onion volcano of fire erupting and our waiter even skirted our son twice with water, which really scared him. On top of that, it was not a cheap meal, as hibachi never is.

This year in an effort to do what would work best for us, we have opted to go for Mexican at our favorite restaurant after our church service. Our kids love chips and cheese dip; as an added bonus, my husband and I always eat inexpensively at this restaurant. And so we are abandoning the tradition of Japanese that we started two years ago because it's not working for us. This season, consider what is and isn't working for your family. There may be a better option out there for you that you hadn't realized, because you were still stuck in old traditions.