Reduce Stress by Creating New Traditions

December is one of the most hectic, crazy, and hopefully fun months of the year. There are the holiday parties at the work place, schools, friends’ parties, and family gatherings.  Then there is the shopping for gifts plus the shopping for groceries for meals and baking. Don’t forget there are all the decorations to put up to create that festive mood in your home. Plus sending out all those greeting cards!

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

Along with all these activities comes a lot of stress. The 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.

It’s not always easy to change a tradition without feeling guilty, especially if it’s been handed down for several generations. If you enjoy the tradition then go ahead and keep it going.  If you don’t enjoy it you probably experience un-needed stress to keep it going.  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 and her reply to her daughter was because her mother had always done it that way.  The next time they were over at the newlywed’s grandmother’s house she asked her why she always cut off the ends of the brisket. The grandmother 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.  Be opened minded about your children wanting 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.

To a lighter load along the way.