I didn’t realize how many little things had become family traditions to me and my children until this year. With the family drama and the absence of Grandpa, there was no way it was going to be a normal holiday season. And I knew other family members wouldn’t attempt to play nice for the sake of my children because they are much to selfish for that. So it was all up to me to make the most of the holidays for my children. I knew they were still going to notice the differences, but I didn’t want it to be depressing.
A typical holiday season for us started in October with a huge haunted house for Halloween. But this that was out of the question considering it was held at my mom’s husband’s house. We would then have Thanksgiving and Christmas at my house with the whole family coming over and celebrating.
But this year for Halloween the kids stayed home from school or had no home school work and we made crafts and did some cooking before going over to my Aunt’s house for trick or treating. One thing we did make this year that has and will become a family tradition was Caramel Apples. Let’s just say people are still asking for them. I used the recipe from The Pioneer Woman (my hero) and was a little nervous because I will be honest, I have never made, let alone tasted a Caramel Apple in my life!!!! GASP!! I know I have been sheltered. But everyone loved them so much that I had to try one and let me tell you I hate caramel but I ate that whole apple!
Don’t they look delicious!?!
Another standing tradition is carving a pumpkin! We always go to our local church pumpkin patch and have the kids pick out a big pumpkin and each of them gets a small personal one. This year we let Dakota pick what the face looks like on the pumpkin and this is what we ended up with….
Thanksgiving has all the usual foods: turkey, green beans, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, pies, pies and more pies! YUM! And then we go right into our Christmas traditions. Which I never saw as traditions until this year when I said I am not putting this up or doing that and my family flipped out! The kids gasped in horror and hubby whined! My family has relied on me to keep the holidays fun and joyful.
So this year we put up the tree while watching the tree lighting in Rockafellar Center on TV, with freshly baked cookies as a snack.
I set up my Christmas village on the bookcases by the fireplace.
My hubby bought new lights and decorated the yard and house.
The kids and I made about a million cookies.
And in the end a year that felt empty and sad; felt blessed and normal again.