I will preface this by saying that I am not a fan of the holidays:
I will say there was a time, way back when, when I did enjoy them:
I will get a bit deeper by explaining I really only enjoyed them when my grandparents were alive. There is something amazingly warm and beautiful about holidays with loving grandparents. Once they passed on, my zest for the holidays fizzled.
My sister, who is one tough chick that I just plain don’t mess with (she is a diesel mechanic, need I say more?) told me I need to start new traditions to turn my “bah humbug” into “aww yeahhhh it’s holiday time“.
But, it’s much easier to be Grinchy McGrincherson than it is to accept holiday cheer.
So, I continue on, year after year, with my humbug ways, dreading November and December for the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah celebrations (I’m half Jewish).
But, for whatever reason, this year feels slightly different. As if there is some glimmer of hope to resuscitate my long lost holiday spirit.
Tradition is defined as:
A way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time.
But, they all had to start somewhere, right? And, how do you know if what you’re doing is going to turn out to be a tradition? And, what if the tradition stops? Is it even still a tradition?
Okay, enough of the questions!
Traditions are a lot like goals. They start with an idea, a plan and are put into action. I have a hard enough time with goals so maybe that’s why I am having a difficult time grasping the idea of beginning new traditions.
So I reached out to my trusty goal setting friend, SMART, to see if there are any common themes. Here’s what I found, each with a question to get your wheels spinning:
Significant, stretching, simple, sustainable
Traditions are pretty specific creatures–it may be something you cook/bake, playing a game, songs you sing, movies you watch, etc.
A Question of Tradition: So, what do I want to accomplish?
Motivational, manageable, meaningful
While it’s hard to measure holiday cheer, traditions can be extremely motivating. They are also full of meaning for those you share it with. Sometimes, you may not really capture the meaningfulness until the traditions are long gone.
A Question of Tradition: How much of what will I need? How will I know when it is accomplished?
Appropriate, achievable, aspirational, acceptable
Traditions can be achieved if you have the proper attitude and skills to do so. But, you first must identify what is in your realm of reach.
A Question of Tradition: How can the goal be accomplished? What do I need to do to make it happen?
Result-based, resonant, realistic, reasonable
Obviously, these traditions need to be relevant to you and those you are sharing the tradition with. However, in some cases, it’s really exciting to be a part of traditions of others. It opens your mind to a whole new world.
A Question of Tradition: Does this seem worthwhile? Will this enhance my life?
Time oriented, time sensitive
One tradition I do recall is my aunt making my great grandma’s brownie recipe every Christmas and Hanukkah. Apparently, before I was born, my great grandma made these for the family and my aunt carried it on. But, we only ate them at that time of year. Traditions are very time oriented little creatures.
A Question of Tradition: When?
I’m aware this isn’t a super customer service related post, but traditions are a way of communication therefore it can be applied to life in and out of the office. So there!
While I work on figuring this out, I’d love to get feedback from you about new traditions you’ve made and how you did it. Share with me!