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My adorable son in the heat of my family’s most esteemed tradition: anticipation.

What If You Made Up Your Own Holiday Traditions?

Chase Reeves
Nov 27, 2015 · 4 min read

I love the schnitzel out of the family I grew up with. They’re hilarious, loving and know how to have a good time.

There’s a few traditions we have — mom’s toffee, everyone together, subtle racism from uncles, Manheim Steamroller on repeat — and they’re good, but I think we mostly just survive the holidays.

So, a friend asked this a couple days ago: we don’t have any Christmas traditions and I want to make some up for my son and I. What do you guys do, what do you like about it, what do you wish you did?

I got really excited about it. I have a 6 year old son, a gorgeous and smart wife and we live pretty far from both our families. I would love for Aiden (my son) to have a sense of holiday tradition that feels like us — thoughtful, goofy, inclusive, inebriatory, lots of moments where I cry in parts of kids movies, etc.

So, here’s a few ideas I’ve come up with so far. This is just a brainstorm here. If you have things you do (and love) please share.


  • Charlie Brown Christmas the day after thanksgiving to start things off right.

Maybe a way to think about it is: what “values” do I want to wash over Aiden? Doesn’t have to be too on-the-nose, but just sort of some intentional stuff in the air.

Teaching/Mentoring — I love and want to support the people teaching and mentoring folks. New skills, deeper thoughts, more developed and thoughtful souls… these are the way we distance ourselves from the stone age. I would like to say thanks and support these people.

Examples of this would be: Aiden’s teacher, writers of movies we love, friends of mine who write and teach things they believe in (Don Miller, Josh Shipp, Jamie Tworkowski, Shawn Blanc, Willie Jackson…), big brother/sister organization mentors.

I don’t know, this one feels a little tough. But maybe we could make a thing to send to our friends and heroes that go out into the darkness and bring stuff back for us.

Warming the Cold — It gets real cold in Portland. From what I understand, people who want food and shelter can find it. Doing something for the folks who provide that shelter, the cooks, servers, admins, etc.

Dignified Work — Good work has a special power in our soul. I would like to say thanks to anyone helping others get into some dignified work. Not really sure who does this or how to find them. It’s very similar to the teacher/mentor one above.

Making Stuff — I would love for Aiden to be, when he’s 25, very comfortable making his own cards, gifts and things. This is a perfect time of year to make some shit. Come up with a plan to make some stuff for people.


Ok, that’s what I got right now. Hopefully I’ll make some decisions and try a couple of these out this year.

Any traditions you do and love? Any you want to get started? Comment and stuff!

Happy holidays you guys.

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