So one of my goals is try to create more special holiday traditions, that are unique to our family. Unique and naturally created, and also some stolen ones, because sometimes I hear of a great tradition from a family and I immediately want to bring it home. For example, one of my colleagues at work is the queen of family traditions, I just love to hear about them. The ones to copy so far: they celebrate half-birthdays and for their half-birthdays kids get half a cake, half a present etc. I am totally doing this for Allie! Another one that I love is that their kids have always gotten 3 gifts for Christmas: something to read, something to wear, and something to play with. While I love getting Christmas presents, sometimes I think that kids in the US just get way too many presents for Christmas and I wonder if they value those presents as much as they would if they had gotten just one or 2. When my sister and I were growing up in Belarus, we never had the piles of gifts under the Christmas tree, like a lot of kids have in the US. We always got 1 or 2 gifts and always a bag of chocolates and candy. And then I would eat my candy and
But anyway, this is not about just Christmas, this is about holiday traditions in general. My family had a bunch. For example, we always had the same New Years’ dinner (which is probably the same as most other families in the former Soviet Union had): baked chicken legs, roasted potatoes (that we called French fries. Although they were very Russian fries), Olivie salad (which is kind of like an American potato salad but with 5 or 6 more ingredients), “Herring under the coat” (which is a salad made out of herring, beets, potatoes and a couple other things. And while it's not understood everywhere, it’s delicious). We also had a bunch of games that we played as a family on New Years night. My mom, my dad, my sister and I were supposed to think of a game or two before the festivities, so we always had very busy New Year's nights. These are just a couple, but now I am feeling that I need to write a whole separate post on holiday traditions.
That was just a bunch of rambling, but really what I am trying to say is that I think it's important to create some holiday traditions that Allie will remember when she gets older. So I thought from now on, starting with the next holiday, I am going to start decorating the house with the holiday themed decorations. Even if it's something easy and simple (which is how it's going to be). And while I am not good at arts and crafts, I can probably do something low profile... Like for example,the next holiday we have is Valentine's Day. I can probably have some nice red and pink heart-pattern kitchen towels around during the month of February. Or special heart-shaped placemats. They don't require any work, other than getting those things out for only special occasions. And recently I found this really cool idea for a centerpiece that I just loved and decided to make. It's basically what you're seeing right here: 3 short vases filled halfway with heart shaped candy. Then you put a small candle in the middle and wrap a pretty bow around the vases. That's it. Frankly, it did look much better in an original version of this idea (sorry, can't give a reference, I just saw it somewhere online and memorized it, but have no idea where it was...), but I think for a person who doesn't normally do stuff like that, I did a pretty good job! The original had a nice wide red bow around, but I used what I had: a silver bow an then pieces of thick pink yarn that I had on hand on top of the bow. So yeah, use what you have.
This is going to be a part of our special Valentine's decoration. I also got a small $1 heart-themed wreath for the front door, got the "heart-y" kitchen towels out and will get some red or pink napkins. Should probably also bake some cookies or cupcakes and decorate them with red or pink sugar.. But that's just thinking out loud here... It just creates a special holiday atmosphere and puts you in better spirits during the cold month of February.