Building Traditions

December is a time of refocusing, implementing & building new traditions, overall just a time to slow down for my family.  No matter what traditions and values you grew up with, you can build your own traditions to create meaning in December and throughout the year.

Traditions are the anchors that tie the experience of our lives together.  Whether these are personal traditions that have been handed down through the extended family or things that we have just put into place in our own homes, each one is special.

Traditions are the anchors that tie the experience of our lives together.

Do you have certain faith traditions?

One of my favorite traditions for the season of Advent, leading up to Christmas, is the Advent Wreath. We always have one on the table, starting with the first Sunday of Advent. It has three purple candles, representing repentance, and the one pink candle, representing Joy. We light another candle each week, as we go through the season. It’s so beautiful how this tradition gives us a sense of stability, in that that we are doing something that millions of people have been doing for centuries, and yet we also have the anticipation of the great day that is coming and the change that the day represents.

Anything can become a tradition.

Good experiences and activities that you hold onto, that have meaning, and bring a feeling of belonging are the kinds of things that become traditional. Baking a certain type of cookie for friends, decorating the tree on a certain day every year, getting together with friends for the holidays. So many good threads in the fabric of our lives.

Sit down with your family and make a list of your favorite traditions. You might be surprised at the interesting things that the other members of the family come up with. You might learn a lot about how they think, and what is important to them, by learning which family traditions they treasure the most.

Also, try to start one new tradition that begins with just your family. Talk about it together and make it a celebration!

Here are some simple ideas that may just get your brain juices flowing:

  • Waffles on Sunday night
  • Movie night on Wednesday
  • Saturday morning coffee and lingering over the newspaper or a good book
  • New pj’s on Christmas Eve
  • One hug to each family member every morning before breakfast
  • Select outgrown toys to give back to Santa under the Christmas tree for other children
  • One batch of cookies every week, freeze half and eat the other half.

The speed of life can leave us breathless sometimes. It is very good to have the solid familiarity of traditions and patterns in life to hold onto and to stand on as a foundation. Look at your traditions as gifts that you give, of yourself and to yourself!  I’d love to hear from you.  What traditions will you build or continue?

You can achieve peace and calm

It’s time to get out from underneath the clutter. And it is not just physical clutter that is holding you back from living the life of your dreams but the clutter in your schedule and your mind. The focus for you right now needs to be on identifying the issues, finding their source, letting go of that stuff that is holding you back. You need to set goals and prioritize around what it is you are trying to achieve and why that is important to you.

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