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Holiday Traditions and New Beginnings

Amanda Houle

Family Traditions and New Beginnings

This time of year continues to represent new beginnings and forces us to ask ourselves- what will your new years resolution be? New Years has been an old tradition for decades and I’m here to tell you especially during the holiday season when your forced to be around family that you may not typically care to see that at any time in your life YOU can decide for yourself right now I am going to create change. I want a new beginning! You do not have to wait until New Years day to set your new intention in motion.


Holiday traditions

The holiday season is upon is. Parents scramble around shopping last minute and trying to plan family parties and celebrations together all the while forgetting to breathe and enjoy the moment. This joyous season only comes once a year. Take a step back and remember what your traditions were as a child. If you celebrate Christmas did you leave out cookies and carrots for both Santa and the reindeer? Maybe an advent calendar? These are some of my most memorable moments growing up. Or if you celebrate Hanukah, did you light the candles daily together as a family? Did you open one gift daily or all on the 8th day? Maybe you didn’t have a family tradition. It is never too late to begin one, leave memories for your children and to pass down generations.

My wish for you this holiday season is to breathe, connect, and enjoy it with family. I challenge you to the minute you walk into your family’s home collect all cell phonesincluding the children and have conversations. Ask questions. Also spend time with both family and friends


“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”

-Mother Teresa


It doesn’t have to be pure chaos and fighting with family if you choose not to engage. I strongly suggest setting those boundaries beforehand. It is normal to have different vales than your extended family. To avoid less fighting have that 5-10 minute conversation prior and I promise you will be glad you did. What are your family values? If they are not “set in stone” have a family meeting 1 evening during dinner and write them out together. Have you ever asked yourself your non-negotiables? For both yourself and for your partner/children?


Year 2018

 What is your intention for the new year? Do you solidify what you would like to implement now or do you wait until January 1st? Taking care of yourself before you take care of others is pertinent for your overall mental and emotional health which is why I suggest start NOW! New year symbolizes new beginnings but who is to say any day of the year could be a new beginning.


 Behavior tips

For holiday parties and starting new routines:

1)      Have FUN! Especially when behaviors arise such as crying or throwing a tantrum. Redirect and let it go.

2)      Follow through with your word ALWAYS so people know what to expect especially your children!

3)      Go around the table during meal time at your holiday function and give a compliment to each and every family member sitting at the table, have fun and everyone take turns!

4)      Set expectations prior to the party. Simple and concrete directions go a long way. Have your children repeat them to you to ensure they understand.

5)      Create a social story explaining what will happen at the party and who will be there for children that may struggle with transitions and experience anxiety.