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By Shanan Kelley

Brand Ambassador

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to evaluate long-held traditions with honesty and compassion. By taking time to contemplate what is truly important to you this holiday season, you open the door to abundant joy and true connection.

It’s Okay To Make Changes
Celebrating a holiday in a particular fashion for years on end can sometimes start to feel stale or even inappropriate. It’s perfectly okay for long-held traditions to be modified, adapted or, in some cases, canceled. What may have felt meaningful to you a decade ago may no longer feel right for you and your family now, and that’s okay. Take the time you need to decide which holiday traditions align with your current values and let the rest fall away. When we release a tradition that no longer feels right, we are making space to replace it with one that does. And that’s a very good thing.

Consider Your Circumstances
It is imperative that you consider the circumstances that make your life unique when creating a holiday that feels right. Whether you are married or single, have children or furry friends, live in a cold or warm climate, and if you are introverted or extroverted all affect how you find ease and joy during this time. Contemplate how your ancestors celebrated the holidays of your culture and whether you have faith-based practices that hold meaning. Include your current financial situation, how much time off you get from work and the state of your mental, emotional and physical health.

Decide What Is Truly Important
It is all too common that our holiday traditions and celebrations are dictated by influences outside our immediate household. It is easy to feel pressured to meet the expectations of extended family, cultural norms and social calendars. Give yourself the gift of deciding what would truly bring you joy this season and only participate in activities that support it. Choices like more intentional time with your best friend, traveling somewhere new or an unexpected holiday meal (tacos for Christmas!) will bump up the joy factor of the season for years to come.

Start Something New
If it’s been a while since you’ve started a new tradition, this is the year to get creative. Some of the best and most meaningful holiday customs are the ones we create independently of what is considered “traditional.” Have a “white elephant” gift exchange, but devise a new set of rules. Try a new cuisine. Go to the movies, visit your favorite coffee shop, take up painting, sing karaoke; there is no official decree to follow when designing your ideal holiday season. The important thing is that you get what you want from this time, be it joy, connection, solace or inspiration.

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