|For many of us, Christmas is deeply rooted in the traditions from our own childhoods. Good, or bad, we often move through the holidays doing what is expected of us and trying to recreate what we did five, ten, fifteen years ago. Maybe this means travelling long distances to not disappoint Aunt Ameilia who you only see once a year. Maybe this means biting your tongue when Uncle Ernie asks you for the eighteenth time when you are going to get married. Maybe this means spoiling child A with eight Lego sets because child B also has eight packages under the tree. I speak with so many friends who end the holidays feeling exhausted, regretful, in debt and like they have disappointed their kids/parents/siblings/friends for not being able to do and give more.
I’m writing today to tell you something really important, so listen closely. Just because something has been a family tradition – doesn’t mean it can’t change! Friend, this is your year! This is your chance to really think about what you want out of the holiday season and only partake in traditions that align with that feeling.
For me this year, that means saying no to a lot of social events. I just want to be home with my tiny people. And news flash, getting together with friends in January is just as fun and less stressful! It also means not feeling obligated to eat all twelve side-dishes my mom makes with her dinner – I appreciate the gesture but I want to leave the table satisfied and not so full I need to immediately unbutton my pants! It means gifting my nieces and nephews thoughtful, locally made presents they NEED, not just the top five things from their Amazon list. It means not comparing what other families are doing to celebrate the season and concentrating on being totally present for my kids (i.e. a social media break). It means resting and not filling my days with all the activities I ‘feel like’ I miss out when I am working. Mostly it means, remembering what this festive season is truly about and embracing our family traditions connected to that joy and love.