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Cynthia Kinnunen blogs about sharing stuff from your childhood with your kids

I know, I know, you’re trying to forget the holidays now that the “real world” catches back up with us and things like work and school and whatnot kick us in the January pants.

But indulge me just a moment, thinking back a little bit to the last few weeks. I didn’t get the chance to really reflect on some of the more poignant moments of the holidays, like traditions. You know, the serving of a particular food or the unpacking and placing of a special item on display. Often what can make the holidays feel comforting are these moments of familiarity.

This past holiday season, we drew on some of our annual traditions. Unfortunately, I bucked one altogether by not making Finnish joulukinkku (Christmas ham) for the big family meal. If you can keep a secret, it’s because I didn’t get the pork leg into the brine two weeks in advance as is required. Or perhaps because I didn’t feel like buying three tonnes of rye flour to coat the thing. It’s a lot of work to make a ham taste like a turkey. I sometimes wonder if the Finns created all these traditions while under the influence of a tremendous amount of alcohol…

Anyhoo, many of the usual items came out this year, mostly intact after a long twelve months in storage. We took great pleasure unwrapping each one and laughing about where it came from as they were hung on the tree. Like our Green Bay Packer Cheesehead Snowman, compliments of my father who has always ensured we are rooting for the right football team whether we like it or not. That’s our classiest ornament.

We put out the Joulupukki (Finnish Santa), with his watchful eye and clad in reindeer fur and we hung the fat Scottish Santa, whose belly I’m certain shakes as he blows those bagpipes. He reminds me of my Scottish grandmum, but not because she had a big belly. Or a beard. Or played the pipes.

We dragged out Pond Hockey-opoly and crokinole. We sang songs and the kids did their goofy presentations. We watched White Christmas and Elf. We skated. And we linked up with family on the computer so we felt like we were all celebrating together, even from afar. Although they seemed to be having far more fun with their Mardi Gras-themed holiday gathering this year. Mental note for next year…

It seems as though we’re finding our way in bringing things from our own childhoods into our family and still introducing some new aspects. All are things we seem to have now made a part of our annual festivities. What kinds of traditions did you share with your kids during the holiday season?

Cynthia Kinnunen is a mom of three wonderfully quirky little people who love music, old and new-school adventures and acting as silly as possible at all times. She’s also a freelance writer who blogs for fun at Crumbs in the Minivan and Maple Mixtape.

Photo via Cynthia Kinnunen

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