The holidays are coming!
No use being in denial much longer…
the constant Christmas muzak will see to that.
So, what about the holidays, anyway?
What are the rituals and traditions that you
will be carrying on…
or trying to find your way out of?
The Turkey and the Dishrack
First, a little story you can also find on snopes.com:
A young woman was preparing her first Thanksgiving dinner.
Her husband walks in and questions why she has put the
dishrack over the turkey thawing in the sink. The young
woman replies that her mother always did that, in order
“to help the turkey thaw.” The following day she is on the
phone with her mother, and tells her how everything is
going well and that she even remembered to put the
dishrack over the turkey. Her mother is comfused.
The young woman reminds her that she always put the
dishrack over the turkey thawing in the sink. The mother
pauses, then tells her, “Yes, honey, but we had cats.”
Remind Me Again…
When it comes to holiday traditions, this story may
help you to recognize the importance of saying
“Remind Me Again…Why Are We Doing This?”
Some traditions have great meaning…in fact the Latin
root for the word “tradition” means to hand over for
safekeeping, implying something of great value that
needs to be handed down from generation to generation.
Family traditions, cultural and religious rituals can bring
comfort to you, remind you of where you come from,
who you belong to, and what is important to you.
You May Need to Re-Evaluate
Hosting family gatherings, cooking special dishes,
sending out holiday cards, decorating your home
or yard, shopping and buying gifts are all holiday
traditions that may mean a great deal to you.
But if they do not mean anything and have become
things you do by rote, because you feel obligated
for reasons unknown to you…it may be time to
research, re-evaluate, and reconsider doing them.
Being Mindful About Traditions
Ask yourself these questions about traditions you
are considering maintaining this upcoming season:
1. What meaning does this tradition have for me
or for people who matter to me?
2. Do I know why people engage in this tradition?
3. Is this tradition one that still fits with my current
life situation, needs, and resources?
4. Are there alternative “new traditions” that would
meet my needs without losing the essential meaning
behind the traditional action or ritual?
It’s Not The Holidays Unless…
In our house, “it’s not the holidays unless” there
are at least 5 kinds of holiday cookies and a tree
decorated with a hundred Santa ornaments.
You need to determine for yourself, taking into
account the feelings and needs of your loved ones,
what truly makes the holidays special to you.
What traditions are important enough to you that
you whole-heartedly want to keep them alive…
to hand them over to others for safe keeping?
What traditions can you let go of, because they no
longer mean that to you or to your loved ones?
Holiday traditions should allow you to feel the joy,
peace, generosity, and wonder of the holidays.
If they don’t do this for you…find ones that will.
You deserve to have a holiday season that is
meaningful and congruent with your values. 🙂
“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.” ~W. Somerset Maugham