How-To Create Your Own Family Traditions as an Adult
Whether you grew up with no family, or just a crazy one
I have to admit, one reason I looked forward to getting married was having that homey power to institute family traditions. Call me a home-Ec lover (I’ll take it). Call me a bossy, control freak (guilty there too!). After my grandparents passed away I’ve felt a little lost in other friends’ family traditions, so I was pretty excited to jump on my husband’s bandwagon.
(Can someone insert a slightly cynical laugh here?…)
Despite knowing his family for over half my life, no one could have prepared me for Rick’s family traditions that leave me feeling more freaked out than festive. *Um, so, no I do not want a 500-pack of Taco Bell hot sauce for Christmas, thank you – gracias, no señor. #weird. That’s a story for another post.
But now that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Rick’s (grand)parents are starting to hang up their hats in hopes that one of his uncle’s will begin to move the holiday fun over to their house instead, I realized Rick and I don’t have any fun traditions just us two.
At first, I panicked.
What traditions do you have when you don’t have that thing called family to force any on you?
I drew a blank.
Ricky’s family will still keep Thanksgiving Day football going, but what do we do as this whole newlywed thing wears off and I’m living out the rest of my life?! After I got a hold of myself, and let some ideas simmer in me a few days, I realized a few important things when creating my own family traditions as an adult:
K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple, Santa. And don’t be afraid to work out.
Taking a hint from the real-life saint who went down in history for punching a guy in the face because he refused to acknowledge Jesus as God, I realized that our family traditions would be good with a punch too. (Ha, that story gets me every season!) Kickboxing? Hmm… Some kind of high intensity work out?! Then Ricky looked at me with that pained Orange Theory face he’s been wearing a lot lately. Ok, fine, yoga could work. Or how ’bout rock climbing the day after we load up on mashed potatoes?
Traditions do not have to be holiday-focused.
We could get massages the day after we load up pie. Why not? Or make muddy buddies and watch movies! As much as I would love to say we want Thanksgiving, or the-day-after tradition to be our tree-picking day, I’m not willing to sacrifice half a day of PTO to drive through the desert to haul a tree back home. If you’re about those board games, or sitting in your pj’s all day – I have 5 lil’ words for you: Yass, live your best life.
Don’t let past family traditions hold you back.
My grandparents made tamales during the holidays, but I don’t know if I’m ready to commit to such a feat quite yet. Rick’s family continues to linger in the cabin living room for.ev.er. But, I want something unique to just me and the hubby. Then, I thought about what Rick and I love doing most – eating and exploring new places. Jumping around town seems more fun, and doable. Sorry, cousin Vinny, bye.
If you’re not about driving to the snow either, check your local newspaper for holiday guides. We found a few Phoenix spots.
If you’re in PHX, here are a couple cool spots we’re thinking of checking out:
- Phoenix Flea – Nov. 25th 10am – 5pm. Enjoy and celebrate Phoenix’s handcrafted, vintage, and fashion designs.
- Lights of the World – Nov. 25th – Jan 2nd. Enjoy the largest light and lantern festival in North America in Downtown Phoenix.
If you’re in Philly, some of my favorite parts of the city for the holidays are:
- Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Plaza – Nov. 10th– Feb, 5th. Best rink in town! But take the train!
- Walk it off at Longwood Gardens – November 23rd – January 7th I love the dessert bar here too, haha.
We still haven’t decided which new tradition in Arizona we’ll pull the drumstick on. If you have any family traditions you love, please share below! I’d love to test some out! Thanks!