Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holidays III - Further Along the Journey

Traditions by Kurt Olson

“Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can’t even describe or are even aware of.”  Ellen Goodman

If you attended our “Handling the Holidays” session, we talked about examining your past traditions and explored making a new tradition for you and/or your family. Noted author Ellen Goodman points out that traditions are hard to put words to and sometimes we are not even aware of them. Traditions touch your very core, your soul, and are sometimes very elusive. Take some time to think about the tools we gave you to better manage your holidays. Then you will have the tough job of implementing them.
My thoughts ranged all over the map when I was trying to make a plan for my family’s new tradition. I came up with a couple of questions that helped me define what I was after, and maybe they will be helpful to you too.  Then I’ve listed a couple of other things you might find comforting.

  1. What are the one or two things you would like to do this holiday that you did in the past with the loved you lost?
 It can be something you do with friends or family, like cutting down a live Christmas tree where you tell stories of past Christmas’. Or it can be private; one friend of mine sits down and has a cup of strong Irish coffee, which is something she did with her late Irish husband. She hates Irish coffee, but every holiday while he was alive she had a cup with him because he liked it. For her, the tradition is drinking her coffee alone and remembering the times together with her husband. It heals her soul a little each holiday.

  1. If you could honor your loved one in some way, what would you do?
From the panel discussion, each of us did something different to remember or acknowledge our loved one’s character or passions. For me, it was to give a goat to World Vision because of the pain Pam felt when our World Vision child lost his goat. It reflected her heart for those who have less. Donna included photos that her husband Kurt took in her Christmas letter. (He was a professional photographer.)   Barb writes letters or notes to her daughter Laurie and puts those in a special Christmas stocking hanging on the fireplace.

  1. Take out your Bible and see who God says you are.
 You will see that God loved you so much He sent His Son to die for you. God views you as precious in His sight. Read about how he well he knows you in Psalm 139.

  1.  Take time for you.
 This is the time in your life where you get a pass on all of those “HAVE to do” lists. You don’t HAVE to send out Christmas cards to everyone. You can do some, or skip a year sending out cards, or as in my case, skip a decade or so of sending them. J

This is the third in our series of three Holiday posts.   If you are viewing this through the email feed, please know you can find additional support and encouragement at our home site of

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