Have I already told you all how much I LOVE traditions? Well I do. I love them the most. They give you something to look forward to and count on. They make for great memories. And most importantly they unify your family.
I find this especially important with my little family. Because she has another family. And because holidays away from her mom can be a little scary. So last year in hopes of showing her that we could have our own special traditions I started the 12 Days of Christmas. Each day that she came to our house she got to open an envelope with a number (1-12) on it and each day we would do a Christmas activity. For example: look at lights, watch a Christmas movie or make a Christmas ornament.
Last year the holidays were great. But there was always a little adjustment. There was always the ,"At my mom's house we do it this way..." or the sadness of being away from her siblings to deal with. This year has been so different! Instead of sadness or uneasiness she is genuinely excited and comfortable being with us for holidays. This year we had Easter and Halloween and both went really well.
So last year when we started the 12 Days of Christmas I knew she would be excited. What I was not prepared for was how much she was anticipating our traditions. Immediately she started asking me if we would have a Grinch night (which we will) and would we get to go to the Temple Lights (which was our 2nd day of Christmas). And then on Sunday morning (our 5th day of Christmas) she got super excited to see we were doing the Snowman Breakfast and had a great time comparing it to last year's breakfast.
The best part for me was putting up the tree. My stepdaughter looked at each ornament and either told the story of it or asked us to tell her why the ornament was special. Putting our ornaments up from our last two family trips was especially fun for her.
I feel like her excitement and joy over our traditions this year has proven how important traditions can be for a family. Last year she didn't know what to expect and while she had fun, it was all new and made her a little anxious. This year she will have a good mix of surprises and traditions to look forward to.
I hope your holidays have gotten off to a great start as well! Happy (Blended) Holidays!