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 something new.
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 altogether.