Halloween is over.  The fireworks have gone ‘bang’.  Christmas is next on the list.

It’s that time of year when we can’t avoid the Christmas atmosphere – the Christmas adverts are competing with each other for our awe and attention, the supermarket shelves are filling up with the latest ‘must-have’ gifts and goodies and Wham’s Last Christmas is being played over the speakers wherever we visit.  And then we’ll have the TV cooks and chefs in their designer homes, showing us their idea of the perfect Christmas.

But is that what Christmas is all about for you and your family?  Remember that millions of pounds have been spent on those advertising campaigns to try to get you to shop at those stores, and cookery books have been published so that we can buy a little bit of that luxury lifestyle.

Perhaps it time to think about what Christmas really means to you and your family.

Christmas Traditions – Old and New

What do you remember about Christmas from when you were little?

What were the traditions that made Christmas special for you?

For most of us, when we were little, Christmas was a magical time.  Family traditions are important for children.  They give a sense of belonging and identity, and a feeling of continuity over time.  Looking back at old photographs of Christmas’s long gone give many of us pleasure and remind us about what is important.  Most traditions are not about material wealth but about spending time together, doing things together as a family and being creative.

Old or new, there’s always time to introduce traditions. Sometimes, when families come together, it is time to assess old traditions and find out whether they still fit new family arrangements.  It might be a good time to create new traditions.

How to Create New Traditions

Traditions don’t need to be expensive.  My favourite family tradition is meeting my sisters and their families on the beach for breakfast and a walk with our dogs on the day after Boxing Day.  Rain or shine, it’s going to happen …. and we love it.  So do the dogs.

Time is important for traditions, rather than how much it costs.  It might be a visit to see Christmas decorations or listening to a carol concert, writing Christmas cards together, taking the family photo in your Christmas jumpers and hats or making Christmas decorations and presents.

Making Presents

Making presents can be a great family tradition.  Never underestimate the value of a homemade present.  My husband’s family have always made gifts for each other.  He makes the family mince pies and his sister makes the family Christmas puddings.  They’ve done this for years.

Perhaps it’s time to swap materialism for memories and start some traditions that you and your children will remember in years to come.


About the author: Sue Stradling is a Registered Therapist, Trainer and Photographer.  Working with individuals and groups, she uses person-centred creativity to improve health and wellbeing suestradling.com


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