Well, this was the last year that we could get away with minimal holidays for our 13-month-old twins, and we actually failed in a wonderful way. My husband and I went overboard, and it was truly magical! I don’t regret it at all. What we were able to do was to start cementing some traditions that we will excitedly continue for many years.
Thanksgiving: While we will have our Thanksgiving meals at different homes, one thing that we will continue is the personal table runner that we started last year. Each person in attendance signs it with something that they are thankful for. Each year, we change the color as well, so it will be easy to find each year’s additions.
Chanukkah: I wrote about Chanukkah in two other posts about gifts and decorations and also how we combine our celebrations of Chanukkah and Christmas (“Navigating Chanukkah in a Christmas World”). While my parents were incredibly generous with small presents for each of the kids for each night of Chanukkah, we had little items for just 4 of the nights. We even were able to play a little dreidel and have some latkes with the twins! We already have some plans for what we want to do next year, including have a Chanukkah party for our friends with kids so that we can share this fun holiday with other friends who don’t know about it. We also want to involve our children in giving to those less fortunate (called tzedakah), which I’m sure will evolve throughout the upcoming years. We also received a Mensch on the Bench which will be so much fun to have in the years to come.
Christmas: This year, we continued several traditions: a special ornament as a part of each child’s stocking, a new pair of pajamas for Christmas Eve, a picture with Santa, hijinks from our Elf on the Shelf (who was joined by our new Mensch on the Bench), an advent calendar, and the reading of the book Polar Express. We also were able to donate many old toys and clothes to make room for the new. In the future, we will have the twins fill their Santa Sacks for Christmas Eve with items that Santa will take to other families.