This time of year, aside from being incredibly busy, always brings me a childlike sense of joy. While I am not a big fan of cold weather (if you are, can you tell me your secret?), it warms my heart to take part in the many annual traditions I grew up with.
Zane and I are currently celebrating Hannukah, and I can tell you confidently that lighting candles and eating latkes for eight days straight does not get old. Any excuse for fried potatoes, especially in the name of family tradition, is a win in my books. A few years ago my Dad passed down a hand-crafted family menorah to me, originally owned by my paternal grandparents. Placing it on our table each night of Hannukah and watching the flames makes me reflect on how my late grandmother, how I never got to meet, must have felt as she lit the candles as a young bride and mother. Despite never knowing her, it’s in small moments like this that I can feel the connection between myself and generations past. Traditions, no matter how small, matter. I wonder how my own children or grandchildren might look at this menorah, and what memories of me might come to mind for them.
We’re also gearing up for Christmas with my Mom’s family. Yes, we are one of the lucky families who gets double the celebration! My maternal grandparents always made Christmas a magical experience, and I grew up leaving Coors Light and homemade chocolate chip cookies out for Santa. In case you were curious, my Papa told me Coors Light was Santa’s drink of choice. While I may tweak this tradition a little in the future (my Grandma’s cookies can stay, but perhaps we won’t encourage drinking and magical sledding), this is another fun tradition I can’t wait to watch our kids partake in.
Ultimately, my favourite part of the holidays is spending time with family. The idea that by as early as next year we could be celebrating as a family of three – well, there’s a whole new sense of wonder and magic in that. Giving the warmth of family, of tradition, and of culture to our future baby is something that brings me more joy than any present could.