Moll’s Musts: Holiday Traditions

12.22.14

You know the saying – “the more things change, the more things stay the same.” This couldn’t be more true than during the holiday season. Think about it. In a busy world, living busy lives, our families find time to set the every day tasks aside and connect – and celebrate  – as a family. The one thing they can count on every holiday season? Holiday traditions. Whether you’re a woman or a man, single or married, gay or straight, parents or childless, traditions are for everyone. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a friend telling us that as a combined family, we had created a magical new world of traditions. Whether your traditions are old ones or new ones, the most important factor is to just keep practicing them every holiday season.

Hang those stockings with care. They say they’re too old for stockings? They’re not. Personalized stockings are a tradition that keeps on giving…and I don’t mean just because they’re filled with gifts. They love seeing their name on that stocking on that fireplace every Christmas. It reminds them that – no matter what – they have a  place where they will always be welcomed and belong. We all can use that.

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Bet on breakfast. While everyone’s schedules might be haywire on Christmas Eve, make everyone commit to gathering together around the breakfast table on Christmas Day for a homemade meal. Christmas Day morning already taken by travel, in-laws or exes? No problem. Find a day that everyone can agree on and make that your holiday family breakfast tradition. Breakfast always seems easiest to me, because even though you might get the late sleepers, scheduling in the morning usually means less surprises and last-minute conflicts than later on in the day.

Have a nightcap. The holiday season can be super stressful. Know what melts that stress away for couples? A nightcap with your beloved as the busy day winds down. Alone in the privacy of your bedroom, enjoy a nightcap ritual that is just for the two of you – a drink that coaxes a warm and fuzzy feeling right before bed, thus putting a cap on the night. Traditional nightcaps include brandy, bourbon or cream-based liqueur drinks, such as an Irish Cream. One of you not a drinker? Oh, you can still have a nightcap. Just opt for a cup of chamomile tea or decaffeinated coffee. It’s more about the company you keep than the cocktail, itself.

For Christmas, creative compromise is key. Me? I like the biggest tree. The one that makes a statement, and I prefer artificial trees for those in the family who are allergy-prone, and to do away with all of that pesky needle shedding. My husband, however, loves a real tree. So we compromise. I pick the biggest artificial, real-looking tree I can find and place it in our great room, but then head to the local tree lots to pick out live greens and tie them in so that Charlie gets that traditional real pine feel. It is literally a tale of two Christmas trees in one. Then, I tuck hand-painted amber lights into each section for a warm, homey glow. Lastly, I add our favorite family ornaments. We all have our favorites and I somehow find a way to include them all. And isn’t that what family is all about? Working through any differences and making sure that every family member feels included? Well, in our family, it is.

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Merry Christmas to you and yours –and to all a good night!

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Moll Wants To Know: What is one of your family’s favorite traditions?