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Keeping It Real: Our Candid Thoughts on Christmas with Jan and Erin



As the holiday season approaches, it’s a time for reflection, nostalgia, and creating new memories. Christmas is a time when traditions are cherished, and families come together to celebrate. In this episode of the Trailblazher Podcast, Jan and Erin explore the themes of Christmas traditions, the impact of split families on holiday celebrations, the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a child, and the importance of creating new traditions. Enjoy!

Christmas Memories: Reflecting on the Past

For many, Christmas traditions are deeply rooted in childhood memories. The rituals and customs passed down from generation to generation create a sense of continuity and connection. Jan kicks off this episode by diving deep into her memories of what Christmas looked like for her and her five siblings growing up. She recalls everything from attending Christmas Eve mass to her mother’s infamous shortbread and butter tarts. While Jan recalled some amazing memories of her childhood, Christmas changed for her after her divorce. 

Divorce and differing family dynamics can significantly impact holiday celebrations, as families navigate new chapters and traditions. The loss of the traditional family unit can bring a sense of sadness and longing for what once was, as Jan touches on briefly in this episode. However, it also presents an opportunity to establish new traditions and find joy in the present moment, which is when the conversation transitions to what it’s like building new traditions in a way that’s both joyful and sustainable. 

Creating New Traditions

As the conversation transitions from recalling fond memories to what it’s been like experiencing Christmas with Luca, Erin’s little boy, we both felt that having a little child around has helped us reignite the magic of Christmas just through his innocence and wonder. He has reminded us of the joy and excitement that the holiday season can bring and by creating new traditions and experiencing the holiday through Luca’s eyes, we have been able to let go of past experiences of the holidays and create new memories filled with love and joy.

Erin explains that some of her favorite things to do for Christmas with Luca include an advent calendar (this year is a Lego one), taking a ride on the Polar Express, and this will be my first year doing Elf on the Shelf, which we are thrilled about. There’s nothing quite like watching Luca’s face light up with excitement with these new family traditions. In fact, check out what I said on this topic below from this portion of the episode. 

“I’ve got an opportunity to create our own traditions with Luca and, place the meaning on the things that I want to place the meaning on, which is quality time as a family and starting our own little things.” – Erin

The True Spirit of Christmas

Towards the end of this conversation, we wrap up with the fact that Christmas isn’t always about gifts, perfect dinners, or perfect decorations. Sometimes, it’s just being fully present with your family and friends to enjoy the closing of another chapter and the promise of the new year. As you embark on your own holiday adventures in the next week, we encourage you to remember that the season is what you make of it. Take a big breath and take a step back to see how truly blessed you are. 

“I think Christmas is so much what we make it… It’s about those quality moments with our family and creating memories, whatever those memories look like that you’ll be talking about for years to come.” – Erin

Wrapping up this episode, we just want to remind you that wherever you are in life this Christmas is good enough. While hardship may disrupt your normal traditions, it also presents an opportunity to create new ones and whether you are enjoying classic family traditions or creating new ones, the holiday season is an opportunity for love, connection, and joy. By cherishing the memories of the past and embracing the present, we can make the holiday season a time of celebration, gratitude, and togetherness. Merry Christmas Trailblazhers!

Wrapping up your holiday shopping? Shop the 2023 Trailblazher Holiday Gift Guide here!

December 21, 2023

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