New Traditions Can Relieve Holiday Stress

December is one of the most hectic, crazy, and hopefully fun months of the year.  It’s a month filled with activities, many based on traditions.

  • Shopping for gifts.
  • Special meals and other treats such as cookies, candy, etc.
  • Putting up all the decorations to create that festive mood in your home.
  • Sending out greeting cards to everyone you know.
  • And don’t forget all the parties you feel obligated to attend at your work place, schools, friend’s parties, and family gatherings.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or both there are a lot of preparations for the holidays.

Along with all these activities comes a lot of stress. Expectations are high. Usually these high expectations come from long standing traditions, many which we don’t even know where they came from.  Maybe it’s time to lower those expectations and create some new traditions that fit our lifestyle of today.

Changing a tradition without feeling guilty, especially if it’s been handed down for several generations, is not always an easy thing to do.  If you enjoy the tradition then go ahead and keep it going.  If you don’t enjoy it and experience unnecessary stress to keep it going, then maybe it’s time to question why!

Here is a little story about following traditions and not knowing why.  I’ve heard many times in different ways. Some call it “Grandma’s Cooking Secret”.

A young newlywed was cooking a brisket.  Her husband asked her why she cut off both ends of the brisket before putting it in the roasting pan.  She replied that was the way her mother always did it.  She later asked her mother why she always cut off the ends of the brisket. Her mother’s reply was because her mother had always done it that way.  The next time they visited the newlywed’s grandmother, she asked her grandmother why she always cut off the ends of the brisket. She replied, “because my roasting pan was too small”.

Snopes has several variations of this story. They will make you question why you follow some of your traditions.

Start some new traditions this year that fit your current family, not past generations. You’ll be starting new traditions to pass down to your children. And let them know why you are doing things your way.  Have an open mind if your children want to create some of their own new traditions.

Change is sometimes hard to accept. If you’re not happy with a new tradition then you can always go back to the old one next year.

Happy Holidays!



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