Remaking Holiday Traditions = More Meaning

Do you wish the holiday season was more meaningful? Fulfilling rather than just filling you up with sweets, extra pounds, and extra things to do?

Me too.

So I’m beginning to shift my holiday celebrations to highlight the values that are important to me and letting go of traditions that don’t support my values. Here are some ways that’s unfolding. I encourage you to try some of these ideas and to make up your own. Change is often hard. If you want help, let me know (the form on the left is a good way to reach out). And if you want emergency support on Christmas Day, I have a few spots left where I’m willing to be on-call to support you making the best parenting choices for you and your family on what is, often, a challenging day.

  • Celebrate Solstice the shortest daylight hours of the year and the return of the lengthening days. Keep an all night vigil from dark til dawn (about 4:30pm – 7:30am). Make vision boards with big pieces of paper and cutouts from magazines and calendars.
  • Build something really cool. Decide to pool your family’s resources to do something that will benefit all of you much longer into the year(s).
  • Simplify Gift Giving. Draw names from a hat so that each person in the family has one other person to buy or make a present for. That way everyone doesn’t get something small for everyone but can focus their attention on making or buying something more meaningful for one person.
  • Giving Gifts Gifts are what’s expected by many of our family and friends. Yet it can be great to pause and ask “What am I hoping this gift will do?” What need will it meet within you and for the person you’re giving it to? Are there other ways to get those need met? Is there a lower cost strategy both for your wallet and the environment? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. For instance, if you hope to show someone they are important to you, consider spending time with them in a meaningful way and telling them how you feel about them.
  • How much does it really cost? Once you’ve decided to buy a gift, educate yourself about where and how the items you or your children want are made. Where is the factory? Where are the raw materials sourced? What are the conditions like for the workers? What happens to it after you’re done? How long will it last?

Some other fun ideas are to:

  • Eat local foods.
  • Exchange words of gratitude.
  • Wrestle with Affection
  • Play games of connection and cooperation
  • Offer food to someone in need.

Happy Holidays!

Kassandra Brown, parent coach

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