So this post is a long time coming…I meant for it to posted before all the Winter holidays but alas I was bogged down by sickness, etc. But this still works because other great holidays are coming up. Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day and even the Spring Equinox (am I even allowed to write Spring as we have been having either -27 * F or 12 inches of snow??) So here it is, with some modifications:
I love holidays, and I love them even more now that I am free to create new traditions with my lovely little family. When thinking about what we want our holidays to look like, my husband and I take time to remember what we really value. As a family, we treasure time together, being in nature, delicious & healthful food, moving our bodies, and creative expression. We let these ideals of ours guide what we say yes to and we let go of what doesn’t work for us.
At Christmas (or Valentine’s Day) my husband and I no longer trade gifts as neither of us have gift-giving as a love language. For our children, we consider what they currently like and are asking for but will also reinforce our values. Every year they receive presents that will encourage them to move their bodies and to get outside. This year, my eldest received skis so she can participate in a cross-country ski league (I am really excited about this! We are in our second winter in MN and LOVE how people embrace the season here. Lots of unique outdoor fun to be had here…like Nordic ski-skating and Olympic ski jumping!) Also, the children received a Gorilla Gym set as a group gift. This momma might have already played on it lots too!
For food, we try to make it ourselves from scratch with local, seasonal foods and even better if we have grown or otherwise procured it ourselves. A favorite for Christmas time is to get out a nutcracker with a bowl full of WHOLE nuts and place it where the children can reach it. I easily give up on nutcracking, but my children love it.
For the impending sugar-fueled holiday (aren’t they all??) Valentine’s Day…we like to make our own candies and chocolates with real food ingredients. Then, we take a little walk gifting treats to our neighbor friends. For their Valentine’s Day card exchange at school, my children made their own Valentines. We used materials we had on hand, and the children got to express themselves creatively. Lauren made prints and Benjamin made clay hearts. As for my husband and me…well this year he is working so no special date night for us. But last year we celebrated our favorite Valentine’s Day yet by attending an event at a local nature center. If you are local to the Twin Cities area and still don’t have any plans, you should go! https://www.threeriversparks.org/events/Groups/valentine-programs.aspx If you are elsewhere in the country or abroad…Check and see if there is something similar! Or do whatever feels right for YOUR family. There’s no SHOULD in holidays (but there almost is HA! if you added a U), so think about your values and celebrate each holiday as best fits your family. I’m already looking forward to our annual Easter/Spring Equinox family bike ride and picnic (outdoors, food, family-time, moving our bodies, not so much creative expression…but there are flowers to enjoy). For us it is a fitting way to celebrate the arrival of Spring and warmer weather/clear bike paths.
How will you celebrate your next holiday?