Creating New Holiday Rituals

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In a past blog about finding your Reason for the Season, I invited you to explore what is most meaningful for you during the holiday season and create new traditions.

It’s important to acknowledge that the holidays are probably one of the most emotionally conflicted times of the year. There are feelings of excitement & guilt, joy & grief, love & discord, connection & loneliness, abundance & loss all felt in the span of a few weeks and days. And life events that happen during this time of year seem to carry more intensity – positive or negative.

If you’ve historically experienced sorrow and heartache this time of year or you’ve simply decided to shake things up and bring more peace & joy to your season, here are a few ideas to get you started with new rituals and traditions.

The first and most important step – give yourself permission to do things differently and in a way that better serves you.

  1. Volunteer: alone or with friends/family; bringing joy to others is a sure fire way to create more of your own

  2. Host your own gathering: a game night, caroling circle, ice skating party, or holiday movie marathon – do what brings you joy and invite others to join you

  3. Practice a Letting Go Ritual: the winter solstice is the perfect time for lighting a fire and creating ritual around letting go – figuratively and literally

  4. Meet with friends/family individually: say “no” to large parties and plan playdates with the people who matter most to you

  5. Send greetings another time of year: shift annual greetings to another time of year that feels right for you; maybe even make them virtual to cut down on environmental waste

  6. Plan downtime: that’s right, put it on your calendar and stick to it; it’s the best gift you can give yourself

  7. If you’re feeling lonely, say “YES” to invitations from friends, even if you feel inclined to say “no”, give yourself permission to leave whenever you are ready, but you’ll likely be glad you said “yes”

  8. Plan a Self-Care day: either at a spa or at home; pamper yourself with healthful food and whatever else feels nourishing to you

  9. Get back to your roots: Have a favorite childhood holiday dish? Make it, savor it, and even share it with others if you like

  10. Stay home on the actual holiday: If you have your own nuclear family and are tired of traveling to please everyone else, make staying home together your new tradition. If you’re without family, make the holiday itself your day of pampering and self-care.

  11. Explore holiday traditions from other cultures and add them to your own celebrations

  12. Consider taking a retreat or vacation over the holidays to really unplug

  13. Gift shop with intention: reduce stress and spread your holiday shopping out over the year, pick up items that inspire fondness for the receiver; keep a bin in a closet specific for holding these gifts until it’s time to give

  14. If you are privileged with abundance in material goods, purge & donate; shift from accumulating to clearing

  15. If you have expectations with others around gift giving: Request a new gift tradition of joint experiences rather than material items

  16. Commit to shopping locally owned stores: this boosts your local economy and helps support small businesses, everybody wins

  17. Consider giving gifts that have an impact without leaving a footprint:
    ~ make a donation in someone's name to an organization that is meaningful to them
    ~ gift a service/product born from your own personal skills & talents
    ~ gift your time and plan a date together
    ~ gift an experience that will bring someone joy
    ~ gift some beautiful delicious food they might not otherwise buy or make for themselves
    ~ gift your presence....it's the most meaningful one of all and one that is in scarce supply these days. 

  18. Do the planet a favor and switch to sustainable gift wrapping: reusable gift bags, save and reuse tissue paper, learn Furoshiki and use thrifted scarves or fabric; when we love the planet we love ourselves

Do you have ideas of your own? Have you already changed things up in a way that makes the holiday season feel more authentic and rich? Please share, I’d love to hear from you!

Change takes courage.

Honor yourself and speak your truth with love in helping others understand your desire for change.

Maintaining healthy boundaries is about recognizing the point at which our principles, and those of our loved ones, no longer overlap….When we assume that our standards are the same as those of the people close to us without first examining our own intentions, we do ourselves a disservice….The barriers that exist between us are a reminder that our paths in life will be unique…However much you enjoy the associations that bind you to others and provide you with a sense of identity, your concept of self will ultimately originate in your own soul.” ~ Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM

How do you want to feel during the holiday season?

What steps can you take to feel that way?

With Love & Light

Alyssa