Grandchildren and Christmas Traditions

My goal is to establish a few truly meaningful traditions rather than a slew of stressful ones!


My grandson Callister “helping” decorate the tree at our favorite bagel shop.

I had way too many Christmas traditions when my kids were growing up, and although we enjoyed them, I will be brutally frank and admit I also felt trapped by them over the years. There were too many and it was too much, making for a stressed-out season. We’re still new at the grandparenting role; this is our second Christmas with our grandson, but I am hoping to establish a less frantic, more meaningful slate of traditions to share with grandchildren. I’ll leave the busy pace to the parents. I wrote a blog last year about Christmas traditions ; I’ve already tossed a few (why keep doing something if it didn’t work?), kept a few winners and added a few new ones. I know I need to be flexible and continue to adapt as we add more grandchildren and their preferences become more known, but these are the ideas I’m considering:

1. Christmas Parade-Who doesn’t love a good parade, and Tulsa does a great job with theirs! I’m grateful they moved it to the afternoon to accommodate little ones’ bedtimes and to provide warmer temperatures (although the forecast for Saturday isn’t looking too tropical). We took Callister last year when he was only six months old, and he seemed to enjoy his view from granddad’s arms. Or maybe my husband and I projected our joy unto him. This year’s Christmas parade is this Saturday, December 8th at 1 p.m. at 4th and Boston.

Our family’s third generation to enjoy the Tulsa Christmas Parade tradition!

2. Christmas Cookies– Our family has a cutthroat cookie decorating contest every year, but until he gets older, I’ll shield him from our competitive event and spend a quiet afternoon with him making cookies. I’ll keep it simple this year with some cut-out sugar cookies and a few colors of frosting and a minimal amount of sprinkles. As he gets older, I’ll add some more involved steps. The December issue of TulsaKids has some child friendly holiday cookie recipes if you’re a little more ambitious than I am.

Callister’s mom (my daughter) decorating Christmas cookies 26 years ago!

3. Christmas sleepover– We’ll have all the festivities of a Christmas sleepover with hot chocolate, Christmas cookies and couch snuggling in pajamas while we watch Christmas movies. Don’t tell his parents, but we also plan to have him make them a crafty Christmas present that evening. Another purpose of the Christmas season sleepover is to give the parents an evening to go Christmas shopping without the little ones.

4. Utica Square– Visiting Utica Square is a tradition many Tulsans have shared for generations. We began this last year with our grandson and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We loved walking around looking at the timeless Christmas displays and visiting the Santa House. Callister wasn’t a big fan of Santa last year, so it will be interesting to see if he has warmer feelings for the old guy this year.

In addition to a wonderful Santa, Utica Square has some timeless decorations that have been around for decades!

5. Gathering Place Winter Wonderland– I have a feeling this is going to be the beginning of a new tradition for many families this year! The Gathering place on a normal day is incredible, but you add lights, a European style market with vendors and artists and festive food offerings such as hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes. The beautiful lodge has a cozy fireplace lending warmth and ambience to the occasion. We plan on going during the week to avoid some of the anticipated crowds!

What are your family’s traditions for Christmas? I’d love to hear your plans for holiday activities with your kids or grandkids!

Apparently, taking a picture in front of the tree at Old School Bagel is becoming a tradition for us! This was last year, I’d forgotten how small and hairless he was!


Categories: Grand Life