When I went to college in Michigan, there was this small restaurant near campus called “The Potato Place.” They made these cookies, “Nutty Cookies,” that were all nuts. I’m not a chocolate person so I was happy to find something other than sugar, oatmeal, and peanut butter. I loved that cookie.
When I moved to Charlotte, I couldn’t get that cookie anymore, so my husband developed a recipe. He makes those cookies for Christmas and I make overnight French toast. Neither of us grew up with these traditions, but they’re now experiences that are sacred to us.
I also have a tradition of watching all of the holiday episodes of The Office. I also like to watch Home Alone and Elf. If people join me while I’m watching them that’s fine, but I’m also content watching them alone.
Holiday traditions don’t have to revolve entirely around family, you can create some traditions just for yourself. Maybe the week after Christmas you go get a massage. Maybe you decide you’re going to get dressed up. What matters is that it feels good to you.
As we enter the holiday season and begin reconsidering our traditions, here are some strategies for moving through that process:
Declutter. One of the things I love to do in December is go through the things I’ve accumulated and determine what I need to let go.
Be considerate about the ways you want to celebrate the holidays. Don’t be afraid to test a couple of new things out to see what works for you.
Be intentional about who and what occupy your space. Maybe you want to make some changes around where you go, or who you allow in your home. There may be some things you want to shift from previous years, like the movies you watch or even the music you listen to.
Reflect on previous holidays, and learn from those experiences. There is no right or wrong way to do the holidays. Give yourself the freedom to make the traditions your own.
The holidays can be really challenging, especially for those of us that experienced trauma growing up. Sometimes we get caught up in the cycle of continuing to do what we’ve always done, which can be really unhealthy. We go to a person’s house that we really don’t like. We participate in traditions that we hate. Or, we’re grieving an experience we never had as children. But as adults, we can recreate those experiences for ourselves, and make choices that were not available to us in our childhood, if we give ourselves the freedom to do so.
What if Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life? by Rhaina Cohen.
Warren Buffet: “Really Successful People Say No To Almost Everything,” by Michael Simmons
Why I Read Romance Novels, by Maria Rodale
Check out these 52 Clutter Free Gift Ideas on Pinterest.
Holiday Movies to Watch
I’ve already watched Mariah Carey’s original Magical Christmas Special three times, and she’s coming out with a new one this year. I can’t wait. I’m about to be in holiday heaven. Watch it on Apple TV.
I have a lot of serious conversations in my life, so it is refreshing to watch a movie where you know exactly what’s going to happen. You know everyone is going to have a happy ending, and it’s still lovely to watch. If you enjoy holiday themed romantic comedies like I do, Watch Love Hard on Netflix.
Describe an ideal holiday experience.
What do you need to do in your life to live your vision of that experience?
What new traditions are you interested in trying, and what traditions do you want to alter or stop?
I hope you’re enjoying the Nedra Nuggets newsletter! Please share in the comments how this article resonated with you.