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trade your traditions

trade your traditions

The season is in full swing and you are swept up in the frenzy. Every year holiday traditions dictate our days from frenzied shopping to cookie exchange to tree cutting. But what if you paused just long enough to question what you have always done and consider whether these traditions still serve you? You may discover you have changed over the years. Your friends and family have all they need, so spending on extravagant gifts seem unnecessary. Maybe you have noticed that sugar cravings haunt you and baking cookies leads to an inevitable binge. You may have developed a deep interest in environmental causes, so cutting down a tree is no longer a comfortable option. The bottom line is we change and yet traditions, by definition, rarely do.

How can we honor ourselves while honoring tradition?

  • ask yourself what you love about the holidays and what you want to let go
  • craft a vision of the ideal holiday
  • create substitutes for your new traditions, for instance a charity you would like to support rather than buy expensive and unneeded gifts, a spa treatment with girlfriends instead of a cookie exchange, a tree in a burlap ball to be planted after the holidays.
  • show respect for yourself and for those who still hold the traditions you have decided to discard dear.
  • vow to not aggressively defend your new stance. Simply make your shift and inform those it may impact that you have decided to do things differently this year. No explanation needed especially for those defensive family members who feel any change is a judgement against them personally.
Challenge traditions even if doing so leads you right back to where you have always been but with a renewed sense of appreciation. We fall asleep and forget we are the authors of our own lives. We lose ourselves in the name of tradition when it is complacency and lack of empowered creativity that keep us repeating the rituals.