A tradition is born
To cap off the holiday chaos, our family celebrates a sweet tradition on Christmas morning that's far from ordinary – we eat ice cream for breakfast!
This tradition started as a fluke in 2020. In an effort to make Christmas as special as possible after a year of chaos, I had planned on decadent cinnamon rolls that morning. I envisioned a Hallmark-worthy moment; the house smelling of cinnamon, kids tearing into presents followed by family time around the table with the kids devouring their treat. Turns out…my kids don’t like cinnamon rolls…at all. Desperate to save the moment, I said they could have whatever they wanted for breakfast. My then 7-year-old says “Even ice cream????” Why not! A year later, when we were preparing for Christmas, both kids reminded me about the AMAZING thing we did last year...ice cream for breakfast. A tradition was born.
Traditions have been a big part of my life, shaping my experiences and memories; especially around the holidays. Growing up in rural southern Indiana, all my family lived near enough to celebrate together. Our plans were the same each year; my mom was a teacher so the two weeks surrounding Christmas were spent baking cookies and spending time at home. Christmas Eve, we had a huge family dinner followed by a candlelight service at Church and Christmas day was spent with more family.
As a mom, the challenge I had was bringing the consistency I grew up with into my own family. We no longer live down the street from our families. Every year looks different due to school, sports, etc. What were our traditions going to be if plans changed every year? How could I give them these great memories if they didn’t look exactly like my experiences growing up? I simply couldn’t give them what I was accustomed to. Then I realized, I was trying too hard. It wasn’t about the specific day or the big plans – it was about the memories of the shared experience. Being together.
Traditions at work
Meriam Webster defines a tradition as “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior”. Traditions don’t have to be grand in nature, they are more about the feelings and emotions evoked; the behaviors expected.
I think the same is true in our work environment. What “traditions” have we set up among our offices? What shared behaviors define our culture?? You might think of the annual White Elephant gift exchange or an annual day of giving. Other traditions might be less noticeable – how you greet new employees on their first day, how you recognize birthdays, how you check in with the people on your team. Every day, you have an opportunity to create these “traditions” with your team and build your company culture.
Each year I look forward to seeing the kids’ faces light up with the magic of traditions big and small. We have ice cream for breakfast on Christmas morning, we visit Santa, we do the Elf on the Shelf (I have a love/hate relationship with THAT tradition), we make homemade mini pizzas, and we take a family picture in front of the Christmas tree.
Life happens, work demands come up last minute, flights get canceled, dinner burns in the oven, people get sick, or you find out that your kids don’t like cinnamon rolls. In this fast-paced world, it’s about being flexible and intentional. Create your own traditions at home and in the office. In the ever-changing dance of life, our ability to adapt and create these cherished traditions reminds us that, at the heart of it all, it's about being together and growing better together.