It’s Okay to Celebrate the Holidays Your Way
IT’S OKAY TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS YOUR WAY
The last traditional winter holiday I remember having was about 30+ years ago. My parents split up when I was five years old, and no matter how my mother tried, we never really had a traditional holiday after that. Sure, the first few years she would bring in my great-grandmother, and her two great-aunts but, I didn’t have siblings, cousins, aunts/uncles, friends, or my grandparents, let alone my dad, to entertain me or be social with.
And, after the first few years fell flat, she decided that it just wasn’t worth trying to make our lives different on that one day (or season) of the year that didn’t match the other 364. Don’t get me wrong, she was the music director for a Center for Spiritual Living, so we always did a candle lighting service on Christmas eve – but, as for the day itself, it was pretty much just the two of us. And outside of exchanging gifts, there wasn’t much celebration to the day.
When I got a bit older, I would go hang out at a neighbor’s house so I could be with people – but inside, I learned to dread the holidays – and not just the Christmas season, but any holidays where families got together to celebrate. The reason being is that I felt I was missing out on something. That there was this imaginary party going on at everyone’s house but mine – and so I suffered emotionally.
Then one year after I’d graduated from High School, we decided were going to celebrate Thanksgiving a new way – at least for us. We decided to drive up to Santa Barbara, play tourists, and have Mexican food. And this was a new and improved way to make the day great, without feeling like I was missing out on a special holiday.
Once out on my own, I realized that lots of people celebrate the holidays in different ways. This was especially apparent on an Easter I spent in Newport Beach rollerblading with a girlfriend. We walked into a Mexican restaurant/bar to quench our thirst, and there was a whole slew of people drinking, partying, and socializing without a care in the world. And I remember thinking “Wow! They don’t seem to give a ‘darn’ that they’re not at home with a giant feast and family.”
These non-traditional holiday celebrations of mine how now pasted down to my son, because just as it was with my mom when I was little – we don’t have really have family. So to celebrate the holidays I’ve taken him to Disneyland, Knottsberry Farm, San Diego Wild-Park, Lake Arrowhead, Sea World, and so many movies that he just knows holidays to be a day we go out and do something fun. And sometimes, we do go to a friend’s house, and participate with their family. But because we’ve chosen to see the day, or at least how to celebrate it – differently, and in a way that works for us – we ALWAYS end up happy.
So, if you’re not currently set-up to celebrate the holidays in a traditional way, or you’re stressing because you are… LET IT GO… relax, enjoy, and remind yourself that you get to celebrate the holidays – and EVERYDAY – any way you wish… as it’s your life, and you’re the one who has to live it.
Lots of love, peace, + happiness!