Friday, December 11, 2009

Will Family Christmas Traditions Continue?

Do you remember the times when giving and receiving Christmas cards was one of the most joyful traditions of Christmas? We used to receive so many that we would string them up all over the house. They always got recycled, usually to schools, and children would use them in Christmas projects the next year. I still love the card giving tradition because even though the whole world is more in touch because of email, there is something exciting about getting mail the old fashioned way. Writing cards to your close friends and family is therapeutic and gives you a chance to reflect on the past year and how these special people have touched your lives. I also send e-cards because I admire the clever people who create such delightful animated and interactive cards. Here on Maui we have chosen Aloha cards this year with the message "Wishing you a Wonderful Christmas Season from our Hale to Yours" If you don't know Hawaiian, "hale" (pronounced ha -lay) means house here on the islands.

Another tradition we still keep is to work on a jigsaw puzzle during the Christmas season. Anyone coming to our home during the holidays has a chance to exercise their brain and try to fit some of the pieces together. It was quite a challenge to find a puzzle this year so perhaps that means that this tradition is on its way out or never arrived on Maui. In case you are looking for a puzzle to work on doing your Maui vacation, we finally found one called "Puzzle me Paradise" in Ben Franklin after searching every other store on the island.

Even though our new age of technology has chosen the interactive video game Wii as the top favourite Christmas gift this year, something tells me that our children and their children will still want to carry on traditions they remember from home. For example our daughter who now has a family of her own, called to get all my Christmas recipes because the baking was a big part of our seasonal celebrations. Now she is making sugar cookies with her son just as she did with her twin brother, older sister and me as a child growing up in Canada. I know that she will probably also bake fruit cake, Nanaimo bars and Chinese noodle cookies and maybe will try a new recipe which will become part of their own unique family Christmas traditions.

If you have a Christmas tradition that you still keep alive, please leave a comment and share. Also we welcome any thoughts you may have regarding the following questions.

In the future will card giving the old fashioned way be totally replaced by e-cards and sending Christmas cheer via facebook, twitter and other social networks?
Will Christmas traditions continue to be passed down through the generations?
What kind of changes do you foresee around Christmas traditions?

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  1. The photo looks great! I love getting Christmas cards in the mail as well, and did not realize you could donate them to schools to reuse. That is such a good idea. Although we are far apart we were thinking along the very same lines today. Funny how things work like that :-) I too was thinking about Christmas cards earlier and wrote a post about reusing them to make bookmarks.
    For me traditions bring so much happiness during the holidays, both old ones you did as a child and new ones you start with your own family. Baking specific recipes is one I think many of us do. Re-making our favorites as children as well as adding new ones we love.
    One tradition our family started with our children is giving each other one present on Christmas Eve. The gift of new pajamas to sleep in to end the night with a little extra excitement.
    As I know so many people do we read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. This is something that my Dad used to do and now with Hallmark's Night Before Christmas Recordable Book he has sent his grandchildren a book of him and his wife reading the story to keep the tradition alive. Now even though we live far apart he still reads the story to all of us. I still have the original book we read ever year when I was a child and will always keep it even with the taped pages, because that is how important traditions are to us.
    Happy Holidays!

  2. Wendy
    Thankyou so much for your comment. I love your websites and already have tried out lots of your suggestions for holiday decorations etc. Have a wonderful holiday season and keep writing.

  3. Thanks Deb for emailing me this comment.
    "Love your christmas traditions! When my kids were little I would get a christmas log from Dairy Queen and they would eat it before bed christmas eve. They knew Santa was on his way once they had eaten the log! Was a great way to get them into bed early. They are older now but we still have a log every year."
    Deb H

  4. I like to think we will always send cards but some of our friends don't send any more so our string of cards is much smaller than the old days. We do our favorite Christmas baking as well, I don't think that part of Christmas will change.
    We always have Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve and open presents after dishes are done. It worked well for us with two family traditions.
    I think I will go out and buy a puzzle....

  5. Thanks for the comment Sis. Don't get a 1000 piece puzzle like we did. Yikes. It takes hours to sort out before you can even get started. I am leaving that part up to Les, and then I'll come in somewhere in the middle and help after all the hard work is done :) lol