We live in a day/time in which so many people feel that being “nontraditional” is a badge of honor. However, more often than not, it’s not that people don’t have any traditions anymore, it’s that they have created new traditions. And that’s great! I’m gonna give you an example.
I grew up having the traditional thanksgiving dinner. The whole family sitting at a table (or standing around the room in a circle) and talking about what they are thankful for. Turkey on the table, ham, cranberry sauce – you know what I’m talking about… The traditional American Thanksgiving. However, seven years ago, I spent Thanksgiving at the hospital with my grandma. It was actually the last time I would ever see her alive. Our family ate at a restaurant earlier that day, and then we spent the remainder of that day with my grandma. A little more than two weeks later, my grandma died. That canceled pretty much every holiday for me for the next few years.
It was so hard trying to figure out how to continue the family tradition without my grandma. Soooo instead of moping around all day every single holiday, slowly but surely, we created new traditions. Every year, my mom and I go to Myrtle Beach for Thanksgiving. We have fun going from attraction to attraction and then we end our day by having dinner at Captain George’s. It works for me because I’m a pescetarian, and it works for her because they still have the traditional Thanksgiving food. And of course we eat all the crab legs we can while we’re there. It’s just a win/win situation. So much so that this year, we even incorporated more members of our family.
Every Christmas, we go out to eat somewhere fancy and nice. I even created a tradition for my nonprofit organization. Every year, my organization chooses to be a blessing to a child (or set of siblings) who has lost a parent close to the Christmas holiday. I do that because I know how it feels to lose a parent during that time. It’s not easy at all. I give the child a grief coping coloring book as well as a toy and my contact information. Sometimes we give a whole lot and sometimes we give a little less, but we ALWAYS give. No matter what.
Life changes. Some of those changes seem bad, but all things work for our good. Life’s changes can cause us pain. Life’s changes will often upset our traditions. But I want you to remember something. You have dominion here. That means that you are here to rule. You are here to dominate. You have a choice to relive the hurt and pain of the holiday season (or any other season for that matter) by replaying and repeating old traditions OR to do like we did and create new ones. Just because mainstream America celebrates holidays a certain way doesn’t mean that you have to – especially if it’s painful for you. I’m not telling you to RUN FROM your pain, because as I told you previously, pain is one of the best indicators that we need to dig deeper. However, what I AM telling you is to be sure that you’re not taking yourself through pain over and over again when you don’t have to. And guess what? There were other people at Captain George’s when we went for Thanksgiving. There were people at the Hard Rock Cafe when we went there for brunch. There were people at the aquarium, there were people on the boardwalk… There were people everywhere. Creating new traditions. That’s the beautiful part of this thing we call life. We never have to be stuck.
As you go through this holiday season, remember that you can ALWAYS create new traditions. It may honestly be one of the greatest things you’ve ever done!
Have an amazing day today. Show love to yourself AND others. Be GREAT! I speak life to you and everyone and everything connected to you! Catch me tomorrow!