Reflecting On Holiday Traditions

Growing up, the holidays were always a time to which I looked forward to.  No matter the chaos or dramatics, I have always whole heartedly enjoyed them. At that time, our big Italian family would gather for each holiday and there would be yelling and screaming (don’t worry, just the Italian yelling and screaming trying to get their word in), kids running around and laughing while getting yelled at by grandpop to stop the antics, and sooooo much pasta. Thanksgiving and Christmas would come and go so quickly but as a kid I never noticed how quickly it really came and went.

When you are a child you do not have control over your traditions or holiday stops.  All you worry about is what will be under the tree and if your favorite cousin will be at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  It is funny…. what stages you go through throughout your life revolving around the holidays.  When you are young, gifts and cousins. When you are older and are “required” to give, while having so much responsibility, at some point can get tiresome. Some even wish to get it all over with.  I’m grateful that I am in the life stage of enjoying and cherishing time with family, good friends, and good wine. Yes, there is still some gift giving, but it is a little less stressful now. Not a lot of pressure because at the end of the day it is about spending time with your family, friends and making memories while reflecting upon the year that will soon be behind us.

If I could go back and tell younger Jordan to cherish those moments, I certainly would. I would also tell her to sit a little longer at the table during dessert and listen to the stories about your father, uncle, and aunt growing up and the stories about us as kids being born, the stories about our grandparents and great grandparents before us.  I can still picture sitting among the adults during dessert and coffee, with some really good cheesecake, being told my time was up and go play with Brianna and Johnny. I will always miss those traditions, but now it is time to all start our own.

I will be married a year in February and while both my husband and I have different holiday memories, we are ready to create our own. What I hope for is that we continue to look forward to the holidays and that it never becomes a chore. I hope that later in life our children sit at the dessert table, longing for one more story on Christmas eve. I hope that they find us that interesting and I hope they are able to hold the memories close to them.

As you read on, you can see I am filled with gratitude this season.  I can’t help to mush. Our memories led us to create our own holiday bucket list of some sort.

Although I usually feel like the holiday season comes and goes, having traditions around the holiday to stretch out along the way makes time stand still in a way. Over the next few weeks we will begin the baking process to determine which chocolate chip cookie makes it to Christmas eve and will visit Bryant park in New York City to sit by the fire and ice-skating rink while drinking some hot spiked cider.

During the first week of December, Sean and I decorated our second tree ever together. Despite living together for almost four years and being together almost nine years. We made homemade hot chocolate, had biscotti, and listened to Christmas music (eagles game on mute, but still on).  We also added our new ornament to the collection…an eagles ornament. Do you see a pattern here? We promised each other that each year, we will homemake hot chocolate and decorate the tree together. Over a cup of pure sugar, a tradition was made.

As far as gifts and get-togethers, we are almost all done Christmas shopping and starting to wrap gifts. December is booked and as tiring as this month can be, we are feeling blessed to be tired. We are also feeling blessed to be as organized as we are this season.  Stay tuned…it is not over yet.

I would love to know what is in on your holiday bucket lists or your favorite holiday memories.  Feel free to comment below!

In the meantime, I wish you all a blessed holiday season filled with peace, laughter, and love. Have the best time creating new traditions while celebrating the old!

Xx Jor