Holiday Traditions

Creating and embracing holiday traditions: see how good it can feel!

December 21, 2018

So, it’s that time of year again…the one that seems so far and away and then *blink* here we are. It’s Christmas! And boy are there some mixed reactions! Everything from the unashamed Grinch who can’t wait until it’s over, those that are just looking forward to the holiday, to what I will call the Christmas elf, the one who bounces around, counting down and loving every minute of it!

Right, so this isn’t going to be a “how to survive Christmas” blog…it’s a “I want to share this with you” blog. And by “it”, I mean my excitement around someone ​else’s blog! Well, a couple of blogs actually, all found on The Gottman Institute website (I will pop the links at the bottom), and which got me thinking.

These blogs focused on how to fill the holiday season with romance, and building family culture, and I loved them! Particularly the parts that talked about making your own holiday traditions traditions and the meanings behind them! I’ve always loved (and been a little envious) of people that have strong family traditions. The Christmas Pudding recipe that’s been passed down through the family, the annual Christmas eve drinks, and those like that of a friend who told me about her day of Christmas tree shopping and the traditions she had created within that – a day of pancakes for breakfast, choosing the tree (a real one!) and lunch at the pub afterward (I’m assuming with a dirty great big tree hanging out the back of the car!)….they all sound like so much, well, fun! But more than that, they give us different things…..

  1. Connection: through tradition we can connect with another person (pausing during this busy time for pancakes and Christmas trees), with a part of ourselves (I get to reconnect with my “foodie” side as I jump in to all the Christmas cooking and baking), with our religion, family culture, our children, the list goes on.
  2. A Chance to Make Memories: Little Christmas (or holiday, in general) traditions allow us such a great chance to create memories that will stay with us, our children and our loved ones for a very long time. Honestly, Christmas would have to be to be one of those few times you can feel like a big kid again – I used to get a Christmas stocking on Christmas morning from my parents, to “hold me over” until present time I think, but last year I decided to relive this tradition…as an adult! Definitely had a little kid moment, it was so much fun!!
  3. Reflect: The hype is usually all around Christmas, but keep in mind it’s also the end of another year. Take the chance either alone or with a loved one, to reflect on the year that has been. What stands out? Is there something you’re proud of? Grateful for? Something you feel good about? And does it give you the chance to reflect on, and maybe even share, dreams and plans for the year, or years to come? What would you like 2019 to hold?

So, have a think – what traditions do you have? Perhaps there are some you didn’t even think of as tradition (wrapping presents at midnight anyone?), or maybe you’re feeling inspired to create some? Personally, I’m considering daggy Christmas movies on Christmas Eve, hopefully with some of the extra baked goodies not required for Christmas day purposes!

However you choose to spend the Christmas and the move into 2019, I hope you can find some the qualities above within it, and I wish you a wonderful Christmas break!

And as promised, the links to the blogs I mentioned….

https://www.gottman.com/blog/building-family-culture-holiday-stories-that-connect/

https://www.gottman.com/blog/5-tips-for-filling-your-holiday-season-with-romance/

Cara Crothers

Clinical Psychologist


More Blog Post


Celebrating bloggers. The gift of sharing lived experience through writing for others

I thought it was a good time of year to celebrate bloggers and not just bec...

December 19, 2018

Let’s Get Physical: 5 Tips to Kickstart Positive Mental Health

“Increase your physical activity”. A phrase thrown at us by doctors and...

December 2, 2018

Could perfectionism be harming your joy of dance?

In the world of dance, striving for perfection may be a cultural norm. Danc...

November 28, 2018