On the THIRD day of fitness, FitMePink Blog gave to me...TRADITIONS in my family!
What is it about traditions, especially around the holidays, that make them so important to us? I remember getting married, and being a little worried when Christmas came around. What if the husband didn't like the idea of pajamas on Christmas Eve? Or what if he hated our Christmas morning breakfast casserole? Or what if he wasn't okay with spending every holiday with my family? Somehow our lives have merged just fine, and I'm even okay with spending an occasional Christmas Eve with my awesome in-laws!
As a child, I remember looking forward to each of our holiday traditions. But looking back, it wasn't necessarily the fulfillment of each ritual that brought value to Christmas. It was the stability and trust I gained from each activity. When a certain thing happened year in and year out, I had something to rely on. Everything else in life changes, but certain things around the holidays should never change! They give each individual a sense of belonging, trust, and identity!
I grew up in California, but all of our extended family lived in Utah. More often than not, Christmas was actually spent away from our own home. But that didn't matter! Regardless of where we were, my family made a point of carrying out all the necessary traditions!
This year is the first year as a parent that I actually have a child old enough to sort of understand what's going on! While this has definitely made Christmas shopping trickier, I've thought a lot about the importance of establishing some traditions for my own family. Most will probably continue from my husband's and my families. But I'm hoping to start some of my own as well!
Some things I've tried haven't gone over so well this year, but hopefully as we continue, they'll catch on. For example, I truly believe that Christmas is a time to teach our kids to be giving and generous. Unfortunately this year, my son has cried every time we've purchased a present for a child other than him. At our church, for example, we chose an item off a "giving tree" to purchase for a family in need. We have no idea who the "Transformer Toy" will go to, but my son is NOT happy about it. He was also the only child at the party who cried after sitting on Santa's lap because he didn't get to tell him ALL the presents on his list. As a 3 1/2 year old, Christmas is still a time of selfish wanting, but as the years pass, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's hope for the wanting heart of his!
I definitely believe there are ways to incorporate healthy living into the holidays, but I don't think it's the time to stress over it! And for the record, it's a myth that the average person gains 10 pounds over the holidays! It's more like 1 pound...easily lost with healthy living once the New Year begins!
So here's a can-definitely-be-modified-to-create-a-healthier-version Christmas morning casserole. To me, Christmas morning just isn't Christmas morning without it!
1 lb. sausage (Jimmy Dean Regular) feel free to substitute turkey sausage
8 slices of bread (remove crust, cut into cubes) I use whole wheat
6 large eggs
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups sharp milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can milk (c. of mushroom soup can)
Brown sausage, drain well.
Spray 9X13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Sprinkle bread on bottom.
Sprinkle sausage over bread.
Whip 6 large eggs, then add 3/4 tsp. mustard and 2 1/2 cups of milk.
Pour egg mixture over the bread and sausage.
Grate 2 cups sharp cheese, and sprinkle over the top.
Pour 1 can cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 can of milk over entire dish.
Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting it.
YUM! Eat while sitting in your new jammies opened the night before.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?