If you’re like me, Christmas is a time of tradition. Some meaningful, some obligatory. Tradition is defined as “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.” No doubt there are some holiday traditions that feel more obligatory than enjoyable.
Over the course of time I’ve worked to try to change, adapt, or let go of any traditions that are no longer working for me. I assume if you’re reading this blog, you’re either doing or considering that as well.
So, what new Christmas traditions will start with us? Read on for some tips on how to put the “I” in tradition this holiday season.
Remember that traditions develop over time (year to year) out of something meaningful to you or the fabric of your family.
Look for a Pattern
Start with what you already do. Sit down and make a list of all the things you did throughout the holiday season in years past. Look for patterns. Maybe you realize that for the last several years, without even really knowing it, you’ve always made time to drive with your best gals to look at Christmas lights. Tradition made.
Or perhaps you noticed that by the time Christmas Eve rolls around you’re always so sick of rich heavy meals, you’ve made simple spaghetti for dinner the last two years and it was perfect. This simple list may show you some traditions have naturally developed and now you can continue those purposefully.
Traditions can be Found Everywhere
Several years ago, one of my friends realized she was always sick at Christmas. They learned she was allergic to evergreen trees. They planned to buy a fake tree and move on, but never got around to it. So her husband wrapped their favorite indoor plant with lights and hung ornaments and Christmas cards from the strands. The next year, when she tried to buy a fake tree, her kids protested and asked to decorate their fave family plant again. Now it’s something they do every year. It’s totally original, grew naturally out of a real experience, and brings joy to the family.
Take a Closer Look
If you aren’t finding any traditional patterns, think about what you’re looking for in a tradition. Does it promote family time, friend time, YOU time? (No shame in spiking some hot chocolate and watching the aforementioned Christmas movies while you wrap presents for your family.) When you determine the purpose, go back to your list and see if there’s anything there you can do again this year to meet that purpose.
If there still isn’t anything, you can always try out some new things this year, and if something works announce, “This is going to be a new tradition!” There’s nothing wrong with trying things on for size and seeing if they fit your holiday style. Ask friends and family what they love to do to celebrate the holidays. You may find some new and exciting activities you may not have considered. And if you find something you love, make a note to do it again next year.
Are you continuing long-standing traditions this year or coming up with new ones? We’d love to hear about what has made (or will make) your holiday special this year and the years to come!