One Family, Two Cultures
In a perfect world we would be able to balance our time evenly between Mexico and Canada, and we hope to achieve this in the next few years to ensure that our daughter continues to feel influenced by both languages and both cultures. This past weekend marked two years since we arrived in Canada – two years that we have not been able to go to Mexico. Next year we will go for a visit, despite our busy schedule here, and we will finally see all the family that we miss so much, visit all of our familiar places and eat the delicious food that we crave all the time.
Creating our own holiday traditions
This will be our third Christmas in Canada, and we are now finding a way to etch out our family’s unique holiday traditions. Our daughter has been excited to get her photo taken with Santa each year and to put up our little tree at home. We spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at my mom and step-dad’s house on one of the gulf islands, so our holiday traditions also include taking two ferries to the island, sitting by the fire, sharing dinner with family and friends and whenever possible going to the beach on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning (and taking photos to send to family and friends back east).
As our daughter gets older we are realizing the increasing importance of family traditions and how they help to maintain a family and cultural connections.
Planning for 2014
As always I read some other bloggers’ ideas about blending family traditions and one that inspired me was from Kid World Citizen‘s Becky Morales about balancing traditions in her multicultural family.
Family traditions are a key component to healthy family relationships: they strengthen family bonds, teach our children our family values, give our kids a sense of identity and security within our family, and instill pride in our children as they develop their cultural heritage.
Her post suggests making a list of the traditions that you would like to include. I hope to do this with my wife so that next year we have more structure in the way that traditions are introduced and explained. We have celebrated Dia de los Muertos while in Canada, but I’d to include more Mexican traditions in the coming year.
This year I plan to make a gingerbread house with my daughter, one of my favourite holiday traditions from my childhood. My daughter loves to hear stories of when my wife and I were kids, so I’m sure that she will enjoy the activity.