Six tips for getting more meaning (& less stuff) into your winter holiday whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, Solstice, or something (or nothing) else
1. Have a conversation with your partner and older children about the traditions and values that resonate most and that you want to celebrate and strengthen. Similarly, discuss what you don’t want.
2. Learn more about the religious and cultural traditions of your own ancestors and others as well. Look for common themes and ideas that work within your own traditions. (Read this to help.)
3. Look for community through school, family, or friends to share some of the festivities. In British Columbia, many communities do Winter Spirals or something similar on Solstice and they are beautiful, introspective events that are easy to share even with those you don’t know well.
4. Practice. Repeat. Add. Just pick one or two new things to do this year and make the most of them. Once you have established a new tradition, you can add new ones as you like.
5. Create a Wonder Box. Almost every traditional celebration has particular icons associated with it such as ornaments, candle-holders and images. A few things that may work in your Winter Wonder Box regardless of your religious background: special lights or candles, beautiful window cut-outs, ornaments, music boxes, crystals, felted winter or fairy creatures, and seasonal books.
6. Pack-Away. Part of what makes the holidays wonderful is that there are special things reserved only for that time. Choose a day when your holiday is over and pack-away the special ornaments of the holiday. The packing-up can also be turned into a celebration with special foods eaten, songs that you sing, or other observances to make your own celebratory “Boxing Day.”
Article by Manda Aufochs Gillespie. This first appeared as part of an article on Creating Wonder in the wonderful EcoParent magazine. Consider a subscription, you won’t regret it. Or, just sign-up for the green mama kick-ass newsletter.