I presented workshops in November and December about surviving the holidays. During the workshops, attendees shared their favorite holiday traditions. A few stood out for me, including:
—Take time to give thanks with a Thanksgiving gratitude tree. I love this tradition, started by a family many years ago, which you can adapt for New Year’s Eve. Each family member writes one gratitude on a piece paper (cut into the shape of a turkey), then hangs the turkey on a Christmas tree converted into a Thanksgiving tree. The gratitudes permanently remain on the tree, which makes its appearance for Thanksgiving only. One rule: You can never repeat a gratitude. The tree not only holds gratitudes but memories of family members who have died, of past Thanksgivings and of previous blessings.
—Give yourself the gift of learning about your family members. One family created an unusual gift-giving ritual. Each family member bought and wrapped a gift for themselves. Everyone placed their gift under the tree without anyone seeing the gift. One by one, each gift was unwrapped. The family then guessed which family member brought the gift. The tradition worked well because everyone got something they wanted (this happens when you buy yourself your own Christmas gift) and they all learned something new about each other. For instance, one family member gave herself a mystery novel—and no one realized how much she reads. Each family member also pitched in $5 for a cash prize. The family member who had the most correct matches (which gift belong with which family member) won the cash prize.
I love to hear holiday traditions because they can inspire us to re-think and revisit our own rituals. We also receive a little nudge to think outside the box in the new traditions we create.
I’d love to know: What are your holiday traditions? Please share your stories in our comments section, below.