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Celebrating occasions that work for the majority

posted 18 Dec 2013, 20:23 by Suzi Wallis   [ updated 18 Dec 2013, 20:25 ]
I write this as Christmas is approaching - an event that is largely celebrated in our Western Culture. Celebrations such as Christmas and Easter come with many traditions - and some of them may not work for you. Just because it's 'always been done that way' does not mean you can't put a creative spin on it, and choose something different.

Some people find Christmas, for example, very stressful. There's the increased financial pressure to buy gifts, more food around (some of it not healthy or enjoyable), travel at a time of year when there are a lot of others doing the same thing, seeing people you feel 'obligated' to see rather than motivated, amongst other things. What might it be like if you celebrate your occasions the way you want to celebrate them?

Some families have rituals around Christmas like:
  • no gifts for anyone under 18
  • healthy, light summer foods in our warm hemisphere
  • Secret Santa gifts for adults if any gifts are purchased at all
  • everyone bringing a dish on Christmas Day
  • changing the host household from year to year
  • everyone helping out with cleanup
  • heading to a beach or park
  • going for a long walk and enjoying physical activity
Some of those ideas might work better for you than the current traditions you feel 'forced' to follow.

Other celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, acknowledgement of achievements, honouring those who have passed - these can all be done in a way that suits the individuals, rather than following tradition for the sake of it. Talk to those around you who are affected by the events. Brainstorm ideas (with an agreement that no idea is ridiculed or criticised) - cast aside the ones that don't suit some or seem inappropriate to them. Ask Mr Google - he has lots of good ideas!

Most importantly, stay authentic in the process of celebration/acknowledgement. You may find that others are feeling the same way as you - limited and silenced by traditions that no longer suit them. You speaking up could provide them with the courage to find their own creativity. A joint creative venture that replaces some of the old ways could breathe a fresh perspective and energy into the way you celebrate events. Go forth and be new!

Suzi Wallis | Dec 2013