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Celebrations & New Traditions

Traditions can be comforting, and people feel closer as they anticipate and enjoy the same things at the same time. But you don’t have to let the ghost of Christmas past ruin your holidays. There is nothing mandatory or magical about traditions. And you might be surprised to find out that children have mixed feelings anyway because of the traditional conflicts or arguments that the holidays always brought.

So let go of the idea of traditions. Don’t try to recreate holidays past. Focus instead on celebrations. Christmas is a season – not just a day! Celebrations can be new every year. But if you like the comfort in traditional ways of doing things, develop new traditions.

Consult your children. Ask what means the most to them or what they like to remember about holidays. Ask how they would like to celebrate. Simply inviting their input might be the most memorable part of this holiday. If you’ve always had problems dividing the time on Christmas – which grandparent do you visit? – simply let the other parties have their way. This alone can create good will.

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

What you do this year can become your holiday tradition. All you have to do is repeat it next year. Name it your new tradition. Take pictures and talk about your new tradition later. Bring out the pictures shortly before the holidays next year and build the anticipation.

If you’re spiritual, focus on the original meaning of Christmas. Go to church together. Read the Christmas story or any of many books about Christmas.

Let the children choose and decorate their own tree – real or artificial - at your home. Taking down the Christmas tree or other decorations can extend the new tradition.

Decide to make some other day YOUR traditional day to celebrate. The Saturday night before Christmas. Boxing Day on December 26. Bah Humbug Day on December 21.

Breakfast is a good time to spend with children. Early Christmas morning – or the day before or after – might be time that wouldn’t interfere with other relatives’ plans. Take children out to a restaurant in pajamas and slippers – provide funny slippers as a gift – and you’re guaranteed a memorable occasion.

Pretend you’re in Australia where the Christmas holiday comes in the middle of summer and the temperature could be 100 degrees on Christmas Day. Crank up the heat, wear swimsuits, and have an Australian beach party and barbeque in your living room.

Whatever events you chose to celebrate, have a safe, fun, spiritually uplifting time!

Some Don’ts
Don’t drink too much. Or don’t drink at all.
Don’t focus on how unfair the system is. Don’t dwell on what you can’t do.
Don’t insist on… -- Don’t insist on anything.

Some Do’s
Do take good care of yourself.
Do make a safety plan for the holidays.
Do enjoy this opportunity to create new and memorable celebrations.


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