Written by Barb Greenberg, excerpt from Rediscovering the Holidays
Once you have more clarity about the meaning of a holiday, it becomes easier to decide which traditions you want to continue and what new traditions you’d like to create.
New traditions can be as symbolic as lighting special candles, as meaningful as volunteering to serve those less fortunate, or as light-hearted as putting plastic bowls on your children’s head and letting them march are the house (we’ve done that!)
I have a friend who so enjoys the freedom to create new ways to celebrate that her tradition is now to try a different tradition each year.
You may be furious right now. “What do you mean, NEW traditions? Everything in my life is changing, and you want me to change this too? I don’t think so!!”
You may feel like a failure. “It’s my responsibility to keep things from falling apart, and not maintaining holiday traditions would be one more thing I’m failing at.”
Then there is the trap we all fall into: “I have to do things a certain way, because that is the way they’ve always been done.”
I, too, felt furious trapped, and like a failure until one day I sensed my Grandmother and Great Grandmother smiling down on me, and I understood that by blending what had meaning from my past with what has meaning for my future, I would create something beautiful for myself and my children.
This can be quite a challenge if you are sharing custody of children and can not always be with them on the exact date of a holiday. Please remember, any day can become sacred and blessed if you allow it to be.
Celebrate with your children a week or two prior to the exact holiday date, while the anticipation is still high. Choose a special day to bake cookies together or go to a holiday show. The possibilities of activities you can do together are endless, and the memories you crea?te will be priceless.
Then develop a tradition for yourself on the actual holiday: Be with friends or family. Do something comforting and healing that will ease your stress and bring you peace.
Print out the Rediscover Traditions – Questions for Reflection.