I have time for one more post before this holiday season slips away. Today, lets talk about traditions.
Does the word “tradition”…
A. Spark joy, comfort and happiness inside you when you hear it? Or,
B. feel like a knot in your stomach and a burden on your shoulders?
If your answer was A, GREAT, keep reading, if your answer was B, let’s see if we can work on that feeling.
I grew up without holidays so when I started celebrating when I was around 31 years old, I didn’t have any traditions to uphold or look forward to. So I set right to work creating a Christmas that I would love. There are a few simple rules to creating new traditions for your family.
Rule #1: Do You ENJOY It!?
Granted, it may be hard to find traditions that everyone enjoys equally but does you and your family at least enjoy some aspects of your traditions or a new tradition? Don’t do anything for Christmas that you don’t enjoy.
Rule #2: Ask Yourself WHY
Why do you do this tradition? What does it mean to you? For example, I LOVE cutting a fresh Christmas tree every year. I can be found at the tree farm as soon as they open! I love getting dressed up all cozy, jumping in the car with my partner, we drive far away on purpose so we get some good drive time in. I sip hot cocoa or apple cider as we walk and walk through the tree farm, I inspect almost every tree! For me picking out the tree is special, I know they are all virutally the same but I really feel like the tree we bring into the home brings in its own energy, it’s like a little part of my family through the holidays. We hand cut the tree (well, my partner does this, but I am very supportive) We take the tree to the front where they shake it and wrap it up for us, then its back home! The whole car smells so good on the drive home. We set the tree up right away and it fills the home with the smell of evergreens and I can almost FEEL Christmas right then! Of course decorating the tree is part of this tradition, going through ornaments, remembering the stories, the longer you do a tradition like this the better! Imagine pulling out a 50 year old ornament that your Grandma hand painted! My tradition is now only 4 years old but in time it will be rich with history. Why do I do this tradition? Because I look forward to the tree cutting, the day spent with my partner picking and decorating the tree, and going through our small collection of ornaments that grows every year. It’s a special day and it brings me nothing but joy.
Rule #3: Is It Sharable?
So this is a flexible “rule” as you may have some very personal, private Christmas or religious traditions that you partake in. But for the most part, traditions are better when shared! For example, I host a party every christmas, usually the week before as most people are busy with family on Christmas. The party is a collaborative effort with those invited, my close friends and family. We do something creative and bakey, we will do a cookie baking party or a gingerbread house party, everyone brings what they can! No pressure remember, it doesn’t count if you stress out about it, just let it be and let it happen how it will. It’s so fun to get creative in new ways with this small group of friends, I love seeing their gingerbread houses come together or finding new cookie recipes and sharing baking secrets with one another. Then we all leave with cookies to share with our other friends and family! Joy-Cheer-Fun
I hope your Christmas or winter is filled with light and closeness! I hope these tips help you to shed any stress that is building up around the Holiday. I truly hope you have the best season ever and many more to come! Merry Christmas from my home to yours