By Cheryl Hansen
Holidays are full of traditions—from the décor and the music to the gift-giving and the meals. It all conjures up warm memories and happy feelings—or at least it does in commercials, social media and the Hallmark channel (my secret holiday addiction).
I’ve thought a lot about traditions for my family. While our kids are young, we prefer to skip the trips and stay home (because Santa). The bad news is that by not traveling, we don’t get to celebrate with our extended families. The good news is that get to make our own traditions. That’s both daunting and exciting—our kids will hopefully take at least some of these ideas with them as they grow up and start families of their own.
But here’s the thing: so many of my holiday memories revolve around food. We baked cookies and decorated them. The neighbors delivered boxes of candy every year. And then, of course, we indulged in grand family dinners followed by rich desserts. My struggle to transform myself and rethink my habits makes me want to establish behaviors with my kids now that will help them shape healthier lives when they’re adults. That doesn’t mean depriving them of a cookie or two shaped like a Christmas tree with those tiny tooth-busting steel ball sprinkles. But it can mean things like taking a hike Christmas morning or getting creative in the kitchen with pumpkin-oat-greek-yogurt muffins instead of pancakes after opening our presents.
In a recent YogaPod class, the instructor quoted George Bernard Shaw: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
So here’s to creating your own traditions, creating your own comforts, creating your own habits and creating your own memories and happy feelings (with or without the Hallmark channel)—during the holidays and beyond.