We do it the day after Thanksgiving, and it has become a tradition we love. It seems like just the other day, we had a toddler bringing ornaments to put on the tree, and a baby helping to hang his special ornament. Now, one has a husband, and one is on the other side of the world. Some parts of our event change over time; some stay exactly the same year after year.
- We usually have Chex mix.
- We put the nutcrackers all over the place, but the kids argue over who gets to put the ugly one on top of the refrigerator facing backwards.
- I put the stocking hangers that spell N.O.E.L on the mantle. Then someone sneaky rearranges them to spell. L.E.O.N.
- We buy an ornament to represent something special from each year, and we have the same conversation as we put the each "special ball" on the tree.
- "Awwww... here's mine from when I was born!"
- "I want to hang the one from when I was born!"
- "Here's the first Disney one! That year the castle was pink like a birthday cake!"
- "Remember that trip to Yosemite? We need to go back."
- "Here's the Key West ball. Remember those roosters?"
- "This one's from 1994, what were we doing then?"
- "Be careful with this Mount St. Helens one. Do you think that's really ash on it?"
- Then we get to the ornaments the kids made.
- "How come my Pokeman ornament on the toilet paper roll has to hang on the back of the tree again!"
- "Ohhhh.... Look how cute I was!"
- There was a moody teenager on the couch for several years in a row. It was odd a couple of years ago, when we noticed everyone participating again. (My husband volunteered to lay on the couch and play the moody teenager role - just to keep that tradition alive!)
I don't think we get to decide which traditions will stick. I think they just sort of happen - then happen again, and again.