It’s no secret from my family and friends that I love traditions. For me, traditions create memories that last a lifetime, and also brings families and friends together to celebrate, reminisce or experience a certain thing. Traditions are a memory, a moment of reflection on the family members before you who created this ritual, but also a glimpse at the future and the excitement that you can pass on these moments to future generations.
Unfortunately, in today’s day in age, traditions do come and go. Families separate, new families form, and life gets too busy or in the way and we lose track of those moments that were once so important to us. Coming from a divorced family, many of my childhood traditions disappeared. And I won’t lie – it was heartbreaking. But as I got older, new traditions formed and the dream of passing down family traditions to my future family kept my spirit alive. In my 24 years of living, there is one family tradition that never faded. There was one magical tradition that my mom kept alive, and passed on to my friends and boyfriends as I got older. Whether we were together on Christmas Eve or not, my mom never let me down with my longstanding family tradition: Christmas Eve Pajamas.
I know what you’re thinking – what’s so special about pajamas? Let me tell you! Each Christmas since I was a little girl, I was allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve. And every year that gift was a pair of pajamas. And these weren’t just any pajamas. These pajamas were the gateway to Santa Claus. They were washed and ready to wear, and kickstarted the childhood activities such as leaving cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. These pajamas meant SANTA WAS COMING!
My mom always did a great job making these pajamas different from my every day PJs. Some were silk, some were fleece, some were sets and others were Disney Princess nightgowns. One year my mom even found matching PJs that my American Girl dolls could wear. As I got older, and the truth about Santa was leaked, these pjs still brought our family together. I started purchasing pjs for my parents, so we all had a little Christmas coziness to kickoff the holiday. We’d wake up in the morning, ready to open presents and enjoy a delicious breakfast including another tradition: Mickey Mouse Waffles!
This first Christmas without my mom has not been easy. There’s a void in my heart and spirit that she used to consume with her laugh, her smile and her kindness. But her spirit is always with me and the Christmas Eve pajama tradition lives on. My first holiday gift this season was a pair of pajamas from my mom’s best friend, these comfy legging PJs featured in this post. Plus, Nick and I are continuing the pajama tradition in our new home in just a few days. I’m hoping we also keep the Mickey Mouse waffle tradition alive too! (This waffle maker is already 20 years old and I need it to survive another 100 years!)
Like I started out saying in this post – I believe family traditions are important in so many ways. They bring individuals together, the create rituals and values that are passed on, they allow for moments of reflection on the years the tradition has been alive and most of all, they create memories that are more valuable than any gift.
Do you and your family have traditions you celebrate each year? If so, I would love to hear about your traditions in the comments below! If not, start thinking of ways you can create tradition in your household. It can be something spiritual, cultural, or as simple as a pair of pajamas!