This is the time of year for traditions. Long-held, new, fun, formal, religious. There are so many different kinds of traditions.
Starting a tradition is one of the first things you do when you start your new life with someone. You find something both of you can share that brings meaning to the holiday and your relationship – if you do it right.
Some traditions are planned, but I have found the traditions that end up meaning the most and last the longest are the ones that happen by accident.
Also the important thing to remember is that true, valued traditions shouldn’t be forced. We have to remember that just because something is important to us doesn’t necessarily mean they are important to other people, even our families. Which kind of sucks, because if you’re anything like me you want to share what’s important to you with the people who mean the most to you.
This is kind of tied in with the anti-gift – only giving gifts that we think are of value or that we like or understand. There can also be anti-traditions. Traditions that only we understand and want to keep.
And really why would we want to force things around the holidays and add tension to an already stressful time of year?
Ah, but there are traditions that are fun, spontaneous, and meaningful. The trick is to find them with another person. Those are the special traditions. The ones that happen organically, naturally and mean something to everyone involved.
I think, no, I know this has bigger implications. If we can somehow understand that holiday traditions shouldn’t be all about us then we can let go of everything else. We can think about others before us. We can be empathetic and caring and accepting.
We can start building lasting traditions that mean something to everyone in our lives.