Our family has had what I would consider a “traditional” Christmas holiday for as long as I can remember and the funny thing is that some of the things that I can recall as a child, have continued into my current family traditions. There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season that don’t involve money and giving gifts. Of course, our family does give gifts – as an expression of our love and sharing that love through gift-giving. But, it’s much more than that. I’d like to share a few of our traditions and from some of our Enhanced DNA authors.
Ornaments: Each year, each family member receives a new ornament that is picked especially for them. Mine is usually dated so that I have something to remember that year. This year, it seemed only fitting to have the “pandemic memory” including the sanitizer, face masks and toilet paper shortage!
One of the highlights of this holiday tradition is that each person opens and places all of their specific ornaments on the tree. It is so much fun remembering where we got that specific ornament or who gave it to us. Now that the girls are accumulating quite a stash, their ornaments are carefully stored in their own box – ready for the next year, but especially ready for the day that they have their own place and a Christmas tree of their own. What a great way to start off their own Holiday traditions!
Christmas Tree Shopping: I love this tradition from author, April Ervin, that continues through to December, 2020. April shares: When I was born, my father started the tradition of purchasing our Christmas tree on my birthday, December 15th. For many years my mother joked and complained that it was just too late to buy a tree, but he remained steadfast. She would also say “she is going to be 50 years old and you will still be waiting to get the tree”. Well, this year, on December 15th, 2020, I turned 50 years old and am truly grateful to still be able to go with my father to purchase their tree. He turned 75 earlier this year and has had some health challenges. This is definitely a holiday tradition that I will treasure - this year in particular.
Baking Christmas Cookies: I’ve never been known to be a big baker, but I love to bake cookies for Santa. In 2020, my girls are 16 and 20 and we STILL love to bake the cookies and set them out for Santa to enjoy.
Family Time: Yes, I think we all feel that the entire holiday season is better with family and it is important to pivot and shift in order to make the best of the time with our families.
“My family traditionally gets together on Christmas Eve, to kick off the celebration of bringing a sip n a dip to share for family game night!” says author, Lentina Rogers. “We plan various games and create fun memories that we laugh and share on Christmas morning as we come back together for Christmas breakfast to continue celebrating holiday cheer. As we continue to struggle to find meaningful things to give our parents for Christmas, I started two new traditions this year. The first one was influenced by the pandemic and brewed out of keeping everyone safe. We will have our game night via zoom along with our sip n dip. The second tradition is brand new. I was out shopping and noticed some large, beautiful gift boxes and I thought about how beautiful it would be to add the excitement of such a large gift boxes for my parents. Then it fell on my heart to give them a box of simple but sincere and personal gifts of all their favorite things in the box, such as favorite candies, cookies and gift cards for favorite restaurants, gas cards and scratch of lottery tickets, which was always a favorite of my Mom’s. Since she resides in a nursing home, and due to the pandemic, she won’t be able to come home for Christmas, so I will arrange for her to join us on zoom for game night and on Christmas Day, so we can watch her open her large gift box of her favorite things! I can’t wait to see how surprised she’s going to be, anticipating what is in this large box of gifts tailored just for her. This should create a joyous expression and memorable experience with her and my Dad. I will continue to give them their favorite things for Christmas and flowers on New Year’s Day for the rest of their life on earth.” What a great blend of old and new holiday traditions!
Christmas Movies: I’m not sure if this is my tradition or my family’s tradition, but I try to watch every Christmas movie that comes across my television screen. It’s getting harder and harder to round up the crew to watch them with me but I hope that I have instilled the value of the Christmas stories, the love, the family time and the “real meaning of Christmas” that is the theme of many of these movies (like one of my favorites, "It's a Wonderful Life".
So, whether new or old, holiday traditions are special and involve family. Maybe when my girls are grown and gone from home, they will look back and remember these traditions and start traditions of their very own.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Denola M. Burton is the Founder and CEO of Enhanced DNA: Develop Nurture Achieve, LLC. Through Enhanced DNA, Denola develops and nurtures individuals and organizations to achieve their Leadership, Communication and Performance goals and objectives. Denola is also an author and publisher and created the Enhanced DNA Publishing Division of her company where they assist new and newer authors in publishing their books according to the Independent Book Publishing Association (IBPA) standards. Denola retired from Eli Lilly and Company after 27 years where the majority of her career was focused on Employee Relations/Human Resources. You can connect with Denola on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN and Twitter at Enhanced DNA or send a message to DenolaBurton@EnhancedDNA1.com..
Thanks to Enhanced DNA Publishing authors, April L. Ervin and Lentina Rogers for sharing their Holiday Traditions.