‘Unpack those beloved holiday traditions

Most people assume that Christmas is hardest for children who have stopped believing in Santa Claus…But I think the holidays are most difficult for those who have experienced a recent loss, through death or divorce, particularly if this is the first or second holiday after their world has been torn asunder.

Many single mothers often feel uncomfortable at Christmas and unconsciously convey this discomfort to their children. One way this is done is by putting off holiday preparations until the last moment, then throwing everything together in a halfhearted frenzy. Perhaps one of the reasons single women and single mothers experience difficulty during Christmastime is because, deep in their hearts, they think holiday traditions belong only to perfect Norman Rockwell families. The first time a woman newly on her own opens the ornament box alone (if she even bothers to pull it out), she experiences such a sense of loss she may decide not to continue the holiday rituals she once treasured because comparison of Christmases Past with Christmas Present is too painful. “What’s the point?” she says.

The point is we all need the reassuring and healing messages that treasured rituals provide. “One of the most important aspects about family traditions—rituals that families continue to do year after year is that traditions have symbols and families need symbols.”

You bring out the old glass, you sing the old songs, you say the same prater, you wear a certain outfit, you set the table in a certain way. These are the unconscious moments of family ritual that become emotional security blankets to be tugged on in times of stress.

Cherished customs are just as important for grown women as they are for children. Our souls can never outgrow the yearning for luminous and liminal moments of Wholeness.

So, unpack those beloved holiday traditions. Create new traditions that express your new lifestyle.

Traditions are the guidepost driven deep into our subconscious minds. (Author Unknown)

Millie’s thought for today: “Blessed be the ties that bind,” we live in a fast pace that allows less time for holiday preparations. Even the most serious among us make the time to reminisce about the past.

Around this time of the year, we start thinking of family. Although the configuration of the Family has changed drastically since the Victorian era, what hasn’t changed is our need for close ties to those who call us their own.

Back in the day to grandmother’s house we would go. No matter where grandmother lived, all roads lead to her house. Real life often frays the ties that bind families. Some families are separated by distance, others by estrangement and obligation. Many women today care not only for their children and spouses but for their elderly parents.

However, it is possible to draw close to those we love if we plan for it. Try to make the effort. Share family stories. Record them on audiotapes so they will not get lost. Especially have your parents and grandparents record their memories. I can assure you from personal experience after he has gone, the sound of your father’s voice will break your heart and become a priceless keepsake.

My quote for today: Call it a clan, call is a network, call it a tribe, and call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. Jane Howard.

Mildred Higgins