This time of the year always seems to fly by at breakneck speed! There is much to do with all of the shopping, gift-wrapping, baking, Christmas cards, decorating, concerts, performances, recitals, parties, get-togethers at work or with friends and family, etc. The list seems endless and the time seems much too short to get it all done. I hate to add one more thing to your list but here goes. What about finding some time to try something new or to do something you have never done before?
I am sure you are thinking, “That’s all I need! One more thing to add to my already long list! Is she crazy? I don’t have time for that!” Hear me out. We tend to get “wrapped up” in all of the activity and expectations during the holidays. We work hard to keep family traditions alive. I love family traditions, too, but what about creating a new tradition, one of doing something different, trying something new, having a new experience? Let me give you some ideas.
There is a tradition in my family of cooking a 7 layer casserole on Christmas Eve and eating it when we return from church. We like this tradition. We follow dinner with another tradition that I grew up with and that is opening one gift. We do this while listening to Christmas music and with all of the Christmas decorations out and all of the Christmas lights on to make it more festive. Then we take a family photo by the Christmas tree. After this is when we get a little creative. When my son was little, we read Christmas stories before he went to bed. As he has grown older, we have adapted. We sometimes play a board game, or we play a game of pool, or we watch a Christmas movie. Sometimes we get out old family movies and watch them so our son can see either memories of his childhood or of ours. He gets to see his parents and grandparents much younger and makes a connection to his family and how much he is loved. He likes this time as both of his grandfathers died when he was young and he gets to see them and hear them, again. It is a nice time for us to connect as a family. We choose different movies every year or may choose different board games, but we take the time to enjoy one another as a family.
Another tradition we have carried over from my childhood is baking cookies and taking them to the neighbors. My son helps me to roll out sugar cookie dough, cut out cookies, add sprinkles or frost and then add sprinkles. He also helps me to roll peanut butter cookie dough into balls and to “smoosh” Hershey’s kisses into them when they come out of the oven. He also is the delivery elf and takes the plates of cookies to our neighbors. There is much room for creativity in baking and decorating cookies. I make some of the same ones every year, but also change it up a little bit by adding something different. This year, I am considering trying a new recipe or making something I haven’t made for many years. I don’t think I have made a peppermint roll since my Dad died nearly 10 years ago so that may be the winner.
I hope you are getting the idea I am trying to convey. Keep your traditions, enjoy them, cherish them. And consider doing something different or starting a new tradition. Maybe go out to a movie as a family, try a new recipe, eat at a restaurant you have never tried, try a family activity you have never done before like ice skating or building a snowman (if the weather is conducive to it).
Here’s an idea. Try something new that doesn’t have anything to do with the holiday season! I attended a creativity workshop last weekend and painted. It was fun to do something creative with a group of other women. I also did something interesting that I have thought of doing for ages. I had a reading done with a psychic/medium. It’s not for everybody, but it was new experience and I am glad I did it. An acquaintance invited me to attend a service at her synagogue. I have never been in a synagogue and am looking forward to a new and different experience during the holidays.
Is there something you have wanted to learn, a class you have wanted to take, something you have wanted to experience but haven’t done it, yet? What about ending the year by trying something new or different? It doesn’t have to be on your bucket list to be a fun experience. It can be anything! Get creative in your brainstorming. Take a time out from the holiday rush. Give yourself something to look forward to. It will stretch your brain and will give you some untapped energy to keep up with the high speed of the holidays. Experience something new this holiday season.