As the holiday period descends upon us, I find myself thinking a lot about traditions – but not traditions as we may normally think of them. Traditions are of course something that play a large role this time of year: giving gifts, lighting candles, singing songs, or eating particular types of foods. Some traditions hold deep religious or spiritual significance while some have been passed on through family generations. These traditions can hold powerful meaning and remind us of important parts of our lives that we sometimes lose track of.

The traditions I want to focus on today, however, are those unique or unusual (perhaps even quirky) things that you can do to mark important events with those people in your life that matter most to you. I am not suggesting by any means that you do away with traditions passed down from religion or family, but that you consider incorporating other new “special” traditions that are for a select few. This is important because research shows that developing unique traditions is an important aspect of connection in a marriage/family.

For example, when I was a kid, my family went skiing almost every Christmas Day. It felt kind of weird because it wasn’t really a very “Christmasy” thing to do, but it was also kind of great because the resort was usually very empty and it was almost always a fantastic day of skiing – it was like our special secret and felt like a way to connect that was different from what everyone else did.

Traditions don’t have to be extravagant to make an impact, but I believe it is important to find some way to connect with your partner, your immediate family, or even just yourself that is not shared with anyone else.

Again, these traditions could be big or they could be small, but they need to be unique to YOU. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Getting outside
    • Hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, skating, walking, stargazing
  • Sharing favorite moments from past year
    • Through photos, writing, talking, craft project
  • Cooking
  • Go to spa
  • Traveling
  • Read favorite story, book, or poetry
  • Make craft or artwork
  • Volunteer work
  • Express appreciation
  • Meditation

But really, the possibilities are endless! I believe that you can make ANYTHING work as long as it feels right to you and the people you are close to. So the next question is, do you have a unique tradition that creates genuine connection with those that matter to you? And if not, what tradition are you going to make for yourself?

If you would like to talk more about traditions, are having trouble developing ideas for traditions, or are just feeling disconnected in your life, please contact us or click here to schedule an appointment.