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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Create New Holiday Traditions You Will Love

Nov 30, 2021 08:00PM ● By Nea Clare

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The holidays are a time of year steeped in tradition. Holiday traditions can evoke a deep sense of meaning due to religious practices, family memories and cultural nostalgia, eliciting a sense of belonging, community and connection.

Unfortunately, the holidays can also be very stressful for some people. They struggle with the heightened emotional intensity of feeling obliged to uphold traditions that no longer elicit these positive feelings; or perhaps the stress to maintain the standards and expectations wears away the joy.

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on cultural norms, and as a result, many have had to learn how to approach things in new ways. Over the past two years, they have likely changed how they celebrate family gatherings such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, including New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. While there is a deep desire to get back to normal, this is also an excellent opportunity to explore new approaches to time-honored traditions. Perhaps it is time to create some new practices that make you want to say yes.

Consider for a moment a holiday season filled with delight, ease and fun. Now, consider what it could look like and what would need to change to make this a holiday you would love.

Tips to Create New Family Holiday Traditions

If you are looking for ways to celebrate the holidays with your family that are new and exciting, look no further. Below are a few tips to creating new holiday traditions to which you and your family and friends will say yes.

  1. Don’t change everything at once. Trying to make dramatic changes is too overwhelming for even the most die-hard optimist, so do not tackle the significant traditions. Instead, start with something that aligns with the holiday experience you want to create with your group or family. Then, ease into it by starting with one new idea or activity, such as a virtual holiday party, volunteering as a group, or creating a Merry & Bright challenge.
  2. Be willing to lead the charge. Leading the plan may be difficult if you are not used to making decisions, but it will pay off in the end when everyone sees that you take the initiative and can manage expectations effectively. You may have to expend more energy, time and focus on getting things going, but when others join in the fun, you will see the impact of your efforts.
  3. Engage the senses. As mentioned earlier, traditions last because of the shared meaning they have in our lives. When creating something new, one way to engage a sense of purpose is to engage as many of the five senses in the experience as possible. Your sense of smell is one of the most substantial ties to memory, so think about the scents you can create. Food can evoke an emotional response to events and experiences, so weave in tastes that surprise and delight. Textures, lighting, music and magic work together to create the most memorable experience.
  4. Leverage what matters most. Traditions are a powerful form of social glue which is why they are so hard to change. Before diving in with a radical new idea, consider which traditions are still vital and think about why they have lasted. For example, if laughter and play are keys to your traditions, make sure your proposed changes have lots of laughter and fun, like a re-gift exchange. If the traditions are solemn or quiet, consider adding a winter bonfire with cocoa and family stories.
  5. Above all, keep it simple. One of the biggest challenges for most people around holiday time is their stress about not being able to do enough or be enough. If you have grand ideas for what you want to create, start small and simple. Consider what you can do this year that can be built upon year after year—this can be the tradition you create.

In this modern world, many people feel removed from their traditions. People have often lost the connection to what their parents or grandparents taught them, so they think rituals are meaningless. There is nothing wrong with that; it is just different. You can choose to keep trying to make it work, or you can choose to take a simple, bold action to create something new that supports you in declaring a resounding yes to your holiday experience.

Courtesy of Nea Clare

 Nea Clare is your Resounding YES! Coach, who helps clients connect with their Yes! by igniting their desire, passion and capacity to live into their genius and create a life they love. If you are ready to discover your Yes, join the Soul Burst Community today. For more information, visit

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