Today we’re taking a look at the holiday traditions we’re making with our families. We want to create holiday traditions our family really loves.
Whether bad or good, the holidays traditions of our childhood usually hold a wealth of memories. We might draw on these to create our own family’s traditions or we might decide it’s time to discard traditions that no longer fit. I don’t know about you, but personally, sometimes I need reminding that I don’t have to replicate the traditions of my childhood. To our kids, something done twice becomes tradition, it doesn’t have to be something done since your grandmother was a baby.
Just because you’ve always done something, or you think somebody expects you to do something, does not mean you have to do it.
As you think about what traditions you’d like to keep and which ones you’d like to change, here are some ideas to keep in mind:
10 Tips to Creating Holiday Traditions
- Think about what your family likes already. Do you love making puzzles together? Taking drives? Playing games? How can you take those things you already *do well* together as a family and add a holiday flair?
- Use creativity. Your holiday traditions don’t have to look like any other family’s. Also, you can take traditions you already have and tweak them to make them work better.
- Think about the feeling you want to create. Are you hoping for a sense of wonder? A connection with your religious beliefs? Or maybe just happy connections with the people you love – if you know what feeling you’re going for, you can focus on that.
- Figure out the outline, not the details. Especially when you are trying something new, it helps not to be TOO attached to how it will go. Think about the main parts of your new tradition and then let it unfold.
- Take into account ages and stages. Naturally some things will just work better as your kids get older, and some traditions need to change to accommodate aging family members. It’s all a season, right?
- Make it simple. This is why we created Keeping Christmas Cozy, to keep us centered and remind us to come back to the simple joys and the love we want to keep at heart of our holidays.
- Know when to let go. (Isn’t that the lesson we’re trying to learn in this lifetime?) But as it applies to holiday traditions- our families change and grow, it’s ok to enjoy the memories you’ve created and move on to new ways of celebrating when the old ways no longer fit.
- Take a risk. Try something new and keep your sense of humor at the ready. If something doesn’t work you can laugh about it this year and you don’t have to bring it back next year.
- Be ready to edit. Should stress levels start to go through the roof, it’s time to edit. You don’t have to throw out all your plans, but you might decide to drop a few. If you can put a good face on it, smile and relax, you will create a feeling of joy around the holiday. It’s likely that your kids are ready to be happy if they see you being happy.
- Be gentle. You don’t have to change everything (or anything!) all at once.
Would you like to be more present and less stressed this holiday season? We’ve created Keeping Christmas Cozy to support you in creating holidays that are memorable, joyful and uniquely suited to your family.
Whatever you do, I hope you find holiday traditions for your family that nourish you and bring you closer, best wishes.
Alissa Zorn is an author, and founder of the website Overthought This. She's a coach and cartoonist passionate about helping people overcome perfectionism and shame to build authentic, joyful lives. Alissa is certified through the International Coach Federation and got her Trauma-Informed Coaching certification from Moving the Human Spirit. She wrote Bounceback Parenting: A Field Guide for Creating Connection, Not Perfection, and is always following curiosity to find her next creative endeavor.