Tis the season of rituals and traditions and I confess I find a lot of comfort in this. When there is so much strife in the world and worry in life, there is something reassuring to know the annual card photo, the decorating the baking and many of the events to attend will by and large be untainted by the world.
There are a few exceptions, we notice those missing more acutely and some events change or don’t take place. Some folks become such slaves to tradition that they go through the motions but don’t enjoy. Instead they stress and grumble at fitting it all in. They try to out-Pinterest the neighbor and out-bake Martha Stewart.
I like to think the missing loved ones are with us in spirit and remember past Christmases with them. When an annual event is no longer, then there is opportunity to find or start a new event. Tradition and ritual should be savored not dreaded. There isn’t to my knowledge a Christmas commandment list that declares, thou shalt send cards or thou shalt make handmade wrapping paper. So if the cards stress you out, don’t do them. If the idea of baking gives you hives, don’t turn on that oven. Follow the traditions and rituals that make your Christmas season joyful.
I enjoy so many things in this season. My annual photo for the card is fun to create. My co-workers so enjoy the Southern Living cheddar, cranberry pecan shortbreads I make. They start asking for them the first week in December and when I finally deliver them the Monday of the last week of school before vacation, I enjoy the faces lighting up as I present them. One of my friends does an annual cookie party and collection for the East Cooper Community Outreach, and I enjoy taking a big box of diapers, having a nice glass of wine and visiting with friends. Another friend has a cookie swap party, our Bunco group December gathering is always extra special and then there are the parades on land and water. However, if any of these events become burdensome or unenjoyable I will skip them. This year I skipped the parades to give some quieter moments in my calendar.
Traditions and rituals have value, only if you appreciate them and consciously participate in them. Enjoy the Christmas season, soak up the goodwill and strive to be a part of the peace on earth.
Merry Christmas y’all