Tis the season to be merry which means it’s time to get cracking on those holiday traditions. Each year I watch as friends and family scurry about getting ready for the holidays. Some bake cookies or build gingerbread houses while others compete to have the best lit house on the block.
Traditions are typically passed from generation to generation. Though there are some people, like my friend Kris, who create their own so they can share and spread the joy of the season to their loved ones.
I tease Kris and call her “Cindy Lou from Whoville” while proclaiming myself to be Scrooge or the Grinch. Every year she works on converting me … so far I’ve been able to resist!
I truly do love the traditions that Kris has during the holidays:
- She scrapbooks a calendar of her kids and she gives the calendar to her extended family.
- The Saturday after Thanksgiving she and her children pick out their Christmas tree. Every year, one of her kids is designated “Tree Captain” which means he or she gets to pick the tree that year.
- Her house is totally decked out with Christmas decorations.
- Each of her children must wear a holiday hat on Christmas morning.
Honestly, I don’t have a single holiday tradition that would be considered traditional per se. The closest thing I have to tradition is writing a rhyming Christmas letter that chronicles my exploits for the past year. I started writing a rhyming one because I figured people might actually read it if I made it light and fun. Now my friends and family have come to expect it.
How that tradition led to my becoming an author
Writing these Christmas letters has always been relatively easy for me and every year I get better and better at the cadence and flow. It never occurred to me to actually do something with this skill; it was just a fun thing I did around the holidays.
Then in February 2010, I went to New Zealand to get married. The woman who owned the B&B we stayed at was from Texas. We were having a conversation about ex-pats from the United States who live in New Zealand. She told me about an ex-pat who wrote a children’s book that did very well. He ended up quitting his day job, moving to New Zealand, and now he writes for a living!
A light bulb went off in my head! I thought, “I could do that!” So, when I came back home, I wrote my first children’s book. It took me close to 6 months but I’m incredibly proud of that accomplishment!
Creating this book proved to me that I do have the skills to be a writer. It has given me the confidence to continue writing other stories and to pursue something creative and fun.
Who knew a little holiday tradition could evolve into a whole new career?! I guess the lesson here is to never overlook the little things that bring you joy for you never know where they may lead you.