Do you have Christmas or holiday traditions? Do you like them?

The reason I’m asking is that I meet a lot of women who seem to be stressed by this whole month of preparing for something they then do not really enjoy. Especially now that all plans seem to be up in the air or change all the time.

I hear a lot of:

  • I haven’t even started buying presents yet (overwhelm).
  • My family cannot come over and Christmas will be ruined (panic).
  • I need a vacation but we can’t really go anywhere (unhappiness).
  • I really just want to sleep for a month and be January (exhaustion).
  • I hate all the dressing up and too much food (irritation).

And every time I ask:

  • What are you doing to change this?

And I get either a blank stare or an upset ‘are you crazy?’ look.

Why?
Because we are so set in the holiday traditions for years that we don’t know anything else.
Because we have ‘inherited’ them and feel that we have to continue them.
Because we want to re-create that cozy family feeling we had as kids.
Because we don’t really know how to change things or feel too guilty to do it our way (as it will upset people).
Because we have no idea how to celebrate Christmas in these new circumstances.

But today’s commercial rush and social pressure have nothing to do with what the festive season is all about.

First, there is NO reason, NO reason at all for you to celebrate Christmas ‘the way it should be’ or ‘the way your family did it’.
There is actually NO reason at all to do it any kind of way but YOURS.

If you want to hang out at home in your pajamas all day, that is fine. It really is.
If you want to organize a winter barbecue with just the allowed number of friends, that is totally okay too.
If you want to get away from it all to hibernate until it’s over, that is more than alright.

Really?
Really!

Because the festive season happens in winter. And winter is the season to calm down, rest, restore, and get strength for spring.
Because the holiday season is all about love and togetherness and giving in a human (not commercial, trying to impress) kind of way.

So this season, think hard about how YOU want the holidays to look and feel like!

For the past few years, I have started creating MY kind of Christmas and New Year’s. They are a bit different each year depending on whether they are with or without kids, which friends I am celebrating with, where I am geographically and in life etc.

But the holidays are MINE. One year I am spending Christmas with my family (because I want to and because I can). One year I am having a pajama party with friends burning things we want to let go of before the New Year starts. Another year we will order catering and watch movies and eat left over spaghetti the next day.
And you know what? All those who have shared it with me said it was the best holiday season they’ve had in a long time.

And this year I have really no idea how it will look like.
Most likely though it will be with just my boys, watching silly Christmas movies, going for hikes, listening to ear-worm Christmas songs, decluttering the house, playing games etc. And that’s ok. Because we will make it fun and create memories.

So what are you waiting for to make this holiday season YOURS?

P.S: If it’s too late for this season (because you’ve already ordered the bubbly and the food and your mother in law is coming), which next party/holiday/tradition can you use to personalize it your way? Maybe carnival, a birthday, a party for no reason?