I love this first week of Advent, where the theme of this time is the idea of hope. I want to encourage you today that just because your Advent looks different, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Traditions can be established and can also change over time to better meet the needs of your family.
Maybe you are setting up new family traditions for Advent. It takes time to build traditions, and it really can’t be done in one year.
Maybe your children have grown up, and you are waiting for them to arrive home for the holidays.
Maybe your children are a mixture of different ages, and things need to change a little bit to meet the needs of all the children and teenagers in the family.
All of these things are okay!
If you are trying to establish new traditions, I think this back post would be very helpful to you: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/12/06/christine-natales-musings-on-saint-nicholas-day-and-starting-new-holiday-traditions/ , You can layer simple ideas in over time. If your children are very small, just a few well -placed activities can be wonderful. It doesn’t have to be all the things you read about on social media.
If you are waiting for your young adult children to come home and you feel your Advent is remarkably different, I advise you to be gentle with yourself with all your feelings. All your feelings are valid. It is okay to be sad or to feel a sense of grieving for when your children were small.
I think it is okay to choose some of your Advent traditions and do them just for yourself or to find ways to translate your traditions for your young adults. Perhaps you will send a St. Nicholas Day package to your young adult, or perhaps you will bake cookies later in the season so you can do it together. Whatever fills you is important and you can determine the course of your new traditions.
If your children are all different ages, I think it is very important to choose the traditions that meet not only your small children, but also your teens. Your teens may secretly enjoy the things your younger children are enjoying, or they may enjoy being the keeper of the magic for younger children. However, they may also crave something geared towards their own age group that includes their friends. Ask them about what would make the holiday meaningful for them.
I would love to hear about your family’s traditions for this season.