I just got back from spending the weekend with my niece and nephew at my sisters house in Kelowna. For those of you who know me, you know there are few things I find quite as fulfilling as spending the weekend with those munchkins. This weekend, however, had a purpose: Their annual Christmas tree decoration night. Now for some this might not seem like a big deal but my sister and brother in law have created a tradition around decorating the tree. The fireplace gets turned on and Christmas music is playing as the decorations get pulled out. We snack on a big plate of nachos with all the toppings while sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows in it. The kids get to go through the boxes and pick their favorite decorations to put on the tree while us adults start stringing the lights. At the end we all sit back and look at the final product with the kids (I have a tendency to crash their family affair and join because the whole evening is just too much fun and the kids get so excited).
You are probably asking why I am writing a blog about how I spent my weekend. It isn’t because of how I spent my weekend that is important but more so the part about creating traditions.
The holiday season often brings the focus back to connecting and spending time with people (hopefully those you love most). It is really easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of the season (shopping, Christmas parties, year ends etc) and not make time to do the things that strengthen your connections. Instead of focusing on what you need to buy or what party you have to attend, I would encourage you to take an hour out of your week this week to talk with your partner, or your family if you have kids, about what kind of tradition you want to start. Perhaps it is decorating the tree like my sister does, or maybe its watching a christmas movie as a family on Sunday evenings. I have a client that has a gingerbread house decorating competition each December with her kids or maybe it is volunteering at a local charity to give back. Whatever it is, building traditions is so important. Traditions bring about positive feelings and allow us to feel connected in our values. It also gives you something to look forward to each year as the holidays approach and can build positive memories of your relationship.
What are your traditions that you engage in at this time of year? Do you have any that are only for you and your partner? If you have kids or family nearby, what kinds of traditions do you do or want to do with them? If you are stuck on ideas then here is a list of things going on in Vancouver for the month of December. A lot of these are free, which reminds us that we can do some wonderful things at this time of year without having to spend a dime!