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012: Holiday Traditions

Hello! Welcome to episode 12 of I’d Rather Stay In. This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, we are talking all about our holiday traditions!

Our Thanksgiving traditions

For Thanksgiving, Stephie and her husband host dinner for their friends who can’t get home to their families or don’t have families to celebrate with.

(Sidebar: We are both big fans of having Thanksgiving dinner at dinnertime, not lunchtime.)

Megan likes to kick off Thanksgiving morning with cinnamon rolls while she watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which we both acknowledge is the cheesiest but we both totally love), followed by the dog show.

And of course, the meal is really all about the sides for us. Whether it’s homemade noodles, green beans, mashed potatoes or any of 100 other favorite sides…bring it on.

Our Christmas traditions

One of Megan’s traditions is rearranging the ornaments her kids placed on the tree after they go to bed. Parents of young kids will understand why.

One of Stephie’s favorite childhood Christmas memories is driving around to look at the Christmas lights (the tackier the better!) – a tradition that Megan does with her boys now, too.

Spoiler alert, it’s also a great way to get an excited kid to fall asleep on Christmas Eve.

Last year Megan’s oldest son instituted a family holiday cookie baking competition, a tradition she hopes to continue. Her family also makes chili on Christmas Eve, a tradition passed down from her grandfather.

And don’t forget the tamales!

Why are holiday traditions important?

From Psychology Today:

“In today’s world, these holiday traditions are likely to be even more important than ever before. Why? Because in our remarkably fast paced and changing world, holiday traditions may offer an important organizing and centering experience and a foil to a life full of constant change. In our often chaotic, discombobulating, and frantic world, having long held holiday traditions that offer important connections to and continuity with the past and to each other is critically important.”

From The Conversation:

“Everyday life is stressful and full of uncertainty. Having a special time of the year when we know exactly what to do, the way we’ve always done it, provides a comfortable sense of structure, control and stability.”


“Laboratory experiments and field studies show that the structured and repetitive actions involved in such rituals can act as a buffer against anxiety by making our world a more predictable place.”

What if the holidays are hard?

We feel it’s important to note that it is totally ok if you don’t love the holidays and don’t want to participate in any of the normal holiday traditions.

The holidays can be really hard for a lot of people, and that’s ok! We see you and support you doing whatever you need to do during the holidays.

Other stuff we mentioned in this episode

People who put up their holiday decorations early are happier, according to this survey.

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