Whose Traditions?

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With the changing leaves and falling temperatures, there's no doubt that fall is here! As mothers, we always try to stay a step ahead of the chaos and this month we're taking some time to share our thoughts on holiday celebrations, family traditions and maybe some new ideas about how to enjoy the upcoming season. So grab that cup of cinnamon-spiced coffee, prop your feet up on a pumpkin and enjoy what our writers have to say this month. ~TMC Can I share a secret with you? As self-centered as it sounds, I never really gave much thought to how my children would experience the holidays. I just assumed they would celebrate the same way I did. Yet as Halloween ushers in the holiday season, I am aware of just how different Miss E's experiences are going to be than mine. One of the reasons is: I didn't take into account my husband and his traditions.

Of course I started thinking about holiday traditions while we were dating. His family does Christmas differently than mine, not to mention Thanksgiving.

Yet it really wasn't until Halloween last year that I realized just how different our experiences were. Growing up, my family was very religious; church on Sunday, as well as, Tuesday, Thursday and any other day special services were held. Our church was very strict compared to some of the churches I've visited today. Women didn't wear pants. Jewelry, make-up, dancing and movie theater-attendance weren’t allowed. And Halloween, well Halloween was definitely a holiday we did not celebrate. I remember last year, I was pregnant and in between trick-or-treaters, my husband talked about what his family did. He talked about carving pumpkins with Miss E and what we would do for her first trick-or-treating. I usually have a plan, but in this I had no clue. I explained to J-man we didn't do Halloween in my house. I explained I only went trick-or-treating once as a child. Most of my childhood Halloweens were spent in church.

At first I was a little saddened by the thought that Miss wouldn’t get to celebrate her first holidays the same way I did. I remember Thanksgivings spent at the homes of family filled with lots of noise and even more food. Our big Christmas celebrations were held on Christmas Eve, with carols being sung and filled with family fun. Christmas mornings were filled with visits from my Abuelo and my cousins who lived upstairs, and the evenings spent at church watching, or participating in, the Christmas play. I think even though there are many things from my childhood I want to share with Miss E, I know that they aren’t all possible. Things like getting together with family for the holidays is not going to be as easy as it was for me growing up. Both our families live out of state. As I get a melancholy feeling at the holiday celebrations Miss E will not know, I remember that as my cousins, sister and I grew up, my family’s traditions changed. Their holidays are no longer spent the same way they were when I was young.

As I typed that last sentence I realized the important thing is that we, J-man, Miss E and I, are starting our own holiday traditions as a family. So this year, with Halloween quickly approaching, I can’t help but think how Miss E’s Halloweens will be filled with jack o’lanterns and costumes, and you know what I’m quite okay with the difference. I was even excited when my husband and I bought her first pumpkin carving set, since I'm sure pumpkin carving will become one of our family traditions. Are there traditions you followed as a child that you haven't carried on with your own children? Do you miss those traditions or are you happier with your new ones?