One of our roles as mom and wife is creating a loving, nurturing home for our families. Part of creating such a home is having traditions. Even if you do not call them traditions you have them. Game night, pizza on Fridays, story time, cuddle time in the morning, new jammies on Christmas Eve, and so on are all traditions.
One of the greatest times to create traditions for your family is around the holidays. If you reflect back on your own childhood I suspect that much of what you remember around the holidays is a special activity or tradition you did each year more so than the gifts. For me, as a little girl, each Christmas Eve we ate Albeskivers for dinner. A Danish round pancake of sorts. Traditionally a breakfast food but Christmas Eve can be a full evening so my mom opted to make breakfast for dinner. Now as an adult, I make them for my own family (and my siblings make them for theirs as well). There is nothing extravagant about having breakfast for dinner but it was something special that I can take from my childhood and pass on to my two girls.
When thinking about developing traditions for our families it can be overwhelming. All too often we get caught up in comparing ourselves to other moms, how they parent or what their families look like or what their traditions are. Sometimes we even assume that she (the other mom) has it all together but in reality, she's just trying to figure it out like the rest of us. We are each created unique and God has designed us exactly how He wants us to be. Keep this in mind as the holidays approach. Just because one mom bakes cookies for her neighbors does not mean you have to. Customize your traditions for your family. You might enjoy literature so utilize that passion and create a tradition of finding different versions of the Christmas story to read throughout December. Or you might enjoy serving as a family so create a tradition of serving Thanksgiving dinner at a local soup kitchen.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Look back at your childhood. Are there traditions you would like to pass on to your family (or things you want to avoid)? What about your husband's childhood, what did he enjoy doing? Also, have a family conversation and talk about what is most important to them. If driving around to see Christmas lights is a highlight for your family, then don't stress and worry about making new traditions, just make sure that one activity happens.
If you decide you want to start a new tradition, don't overwhelm yourself with starting five new traditions! Just try one or two, depending on what they are. Write the other ones down and save the list with your holiday decorations. You can try the others next year.
Once you know what you want to do, start early! If you plan ahead and get started now you will relieve SO much stress. You will give yourself the opportunity to create traditions and truly enjoy the holiday season with your family. Set a goal and do one thing each day or week leading up the holiday or activity to reach that goal. If you are overwhelmed and stressed then you will miss the joy and fun to be had!