Traditions are part of what makes the holidays memorable. Thinking back on your
childhood, you might have some amazing memories of holiday’s past that are steeped in
tradition. You may have even brought some of them into adulthood and your own family.
There’s no doubt that traditions help families stay connected and remind them of their
roots but there may come a time when it helps to break traditions and build new ones.
Should traditions always be kept?
Traditions can bring comfort and a sense of familiarity and belonging, but they can also
be stifling and keep you from growing and expanding. Holding onto traditions can
exclude other possibilities that might be a better fit for you and your family. While
traditions can be a wonderful way to hold onto the past, there may be room for change
in your future.
Here are some indicators you might be ready to break some traditions
Your family dynamics change- It might have been fun to participate in a tradition for a season, but a change could be in order. If your family dynamics change and it doesn’t
make sense to hold onto a tradition, be open to letting it go, creating a new one or
making a modification. Some typical reasons family dynamics change:
*Marriage, divorce, blending families
*Children mature or grow up
*Time constraints or changes in schedules
When the dynamics in the family change, it may be time to break a tradition and begin
You’re bored or change interests– Some traditions felt great for a time, but everyone
is always changing and growing. Adapting and expanding your interests can affect your
traditions. What once felt comforting begins to feel controlling. Don’t let familiarity cause
you to hold onto traditions that you’ve outgrown.
Creating new traditions can create joy
Finding new ways to create traditions during the holidays can reduce stress and create
joy. Growing and expanding with your family as it changes can help you hold onto
traditions you love while finding new ones that have meaning for where you are in life at
the moment. Ask yourself these questions to help you create new traditions.
What makes sense for your stage of life? If your children are small, there may be a
host of activities that you engage in as part of your tradition. As they age, it makes
sense to stop some activities and find new age-appropriate activities. Asking what
makes sense for your current stage of life will help you break traditions you don’t need
and create ones that everyone will enjoy.
What do you love most this time of year? Asking yourself…and your family, what
they love most and want to do each year will help you engage in the activities that
matter. You never know, that one time you had pizza for Thanksgiving dinner could be a
tradition they want to experience each and every year. You never know if you don’t ask!
Sometimes traditions can actually weigh families down and cause stress. It’s important
to take time and review your beloved traditions and see if there isn’t room for
improvement, retirement, or creating new traditions all together.