The Holidays are a great time to think—and act upon—what you want to leave your family as part of your continuing legacy. Here’s a tip to consider…
Legacy Planning Tip #13
Type up the origin of your family’s holiday traditions and why you chose to continue them. Store with all of your holiday decorations.
Some of the holiday traditions I enjoyed as a child I have continued for my family. For example, each Christmas Eve we were allowed to open one gift. It was always an ornament from my grandmother that she had made or purchased for us. We were always so excited to hang it on the tree.
When my son William was born we decided to continue that tradition. My college roommate Cezanne gave me a great idea to have the ornament represent a family vacation, what William was for Halloween, or what he was interested in that year. Past ornaments (there are usually two each year) have included a fire truck and Scooby Doo (past obsessions), a lion and Spiderman (past Halloween costumes), and a train (representing our first Polar Express ride). This year’s ornaments are a pine cone from our trip to Big Trees State Park and a Mickey and Minnie Mouse ornament from our Disney cruise this spring. We put the year on each of the ornaments so William will be able to look back and remember what was going on in his life each year when decorating the tree with all of his ornaments. And when he graduates high school he will get his box of ornaments to start his own holiday decorations and traditions.
Growing up, my Italian family ate homemade pasta and sauce each Sunday night: a tradition from my father’s childhood. Although we haven’t kept that weekly tradition, we do make homemade sauce and meatballs for our Christmas Eve dinner. After dinner we decorate sugar cookies, leave some milk and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer, and check out where Santa is currently at using the official NORAD Santa Tracker.
Whatever your traditions make sure your children and grand-children know their significance. Allow these traditions and stories to be part of your legacy of love.