Traditions can be beautiful; yet, when emotionally laden they can become intensely painful. Doing things differently makes it is harder to compare to your “old” life. We always used to chop down our own Christmas tree, but my kids (9 and 7 at the time) didn’t even want a tree our first year. So, we compromised and got a pre-lit artificial tree. Now it is our new tradition. Also, it was so hard to decorate the tree with our memory-filled ornaments. So, for 3 years we didn’t even get out our old ornaments. Instead we created a patriotic tree. Now that it has been 8 years, we have 2 trees: our patriotic tree and one with our old ornaments (both artificial of course!).
It can be so raw and painful to do things the same way you used to. Give yourself permission to do things differently.
P.S. Instead of birthday cake for the first year—we had birthday brownies.