The Holidays are no longer fast approaching – they are here. And with that onset comes not just the list of tasks but also the accompanying emotions. Generally, the holidays are a time of family and traditions. But that isn’t the case for all of us. And, even if it is, it’s also a time of memories.
Memories combined with the expectations of the holidays can lead to complicated feelings. As you prepare, consider these suggestions to keep you uplifted while also connecting with your past.
Triggering our senses is a wonderful way to engage memories. Both the senses of taste and smell are quickly triggered when we make a favorite recipe. So many family gatherings are centered around the food we grew up with and around. It functions as a way to honor our past relationships and continue them into our future. Writing the recipes down and giving them as a gift to the next generation is also a nice way to keep traditions and the people they’re connected to, alive.
Another way to lift your mood is by listening to favorite tunes. It can energize you to get through your list or transport you through time back to previous holidays where life may have been easier and simpler. Music is a wonderful way to connect yourself to a different emotional or physical space. And, it’s ok to feel whatever feelings come up for you. It’s all part of the process of life.
Candle or a Table Setting
Lighting a candle can be relaxing or reminiscent, or – sometimes it’s both. The process of lighting a candle, placing a flower, or setting a place at the table are all ways to honor the memory of someone who’s unable to be at the celebration. Although you may choose to vocalize your sentiments, this can just be a quiet reminder that needs no words.
Telling stories from the past brings people together and memorializes a shared history. The simple act of reliving the past makes it feel real and allows others to engage in it with you. There is no better way to learn about someone than to hear an engaging story that has meaning for them! Share a laugh or a meaningful memory. It may lighten the mood and break the ice.
A favorite photo can immediately transport you to the past. A photo invokes feelings – sometimes bittersweet, always memorable. Photos are another way to share your stories or just quietly relive them. Consider a photo with a candle or at the table setting.
Create a holiday ornament that has meaning for you. Working on a craft and creating something is a wonderful way to engage with the season without getting overwhelmed. It’s a creative escape that might be just what you need. The ornament can be as simple as twisting pipe cleaners with beads to create a candy cane or an elaborate and engaging project. Click here for some DIY ornament ideas.
We hope these ideas inspire you in some way. Take an idea from the list above or create your own. We’d love to hear how you celebrated on our private Facebook group. If you’re not a member, join here.
We wish you a wonderful holiday season that includes space to honor your emotional needs and create room for yourself.