Holidays can be both wonderful and complicated.
In our family, we blend two religions and two sets of traditions. But we’ve found that doing all of each of our traditions or following exactly how a tradition was practiced in our families of origin was overwhelming and stressful.
So we created our own new rituals. That means our three kids get to add in their ideas as well. We don’t feel compelled to repeat traditions that don’t fit our family. It’s been fun to create our new rituals. And, wow, doing that helped reduce stress and made things lighter and more fun.
Some of our new rituals stick and some don’t, but by creating our own way of celebrating we’ve enhanced the level of joy and fun and decreased the stress that sometimes accompanies the December holidays. We focus on the values of fun and togetherness, gratitude and love, and don’t worry about getting everything done just the way it used to be done in the past.
Our rituals bind our small family together, making us feel that we belong to each other. That’s what I love most about this time of year.
Take a moment to reflect on what you love from the past and what you’d like to leave behind.
What traditions from the past are still important and which need to be updated or replaced with your own new rituals?
What would it feel like to leave behind what’s not serving you?
What would it feel like to focus on what sparks joy in you?
I wish you love, gratitude and whatever you are yearning for this holiday season.
P.S. Family stories are your heritage. Each family has a history that no other family has. If you’re interested in the role of storytelling in your own family legacy, download my free resource 5 Questions to Ask at the Table. By telling your stories and sharing them, you keep your history, tradition and ancestors alive, and build connection within your family and across generations, even if only to record what you need to leave behind and the joy you feel now.