Words…family traditions

All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way – Leo Tolstoygrinch

Most people assume that Christmas is hardest for children who’ve stopped believing in Santa Claus.  But I think the holidays are the most difficult for those who have experienced a recent loss, through death or divorce, particularly if this is the first or second holiday after their world has been torn under.

Many single mothers often feel uncomfortable at Christmas and unconsciously convey this discomfort to their children.  Perhaps one of the reasons single women and mothers experience difficulty during Christmastime is because, deep in their hearts, they think holiday traditions belong only to perfect Norman Rockwell families.

One of the most important aspects about family traditions – rituals that families continue to do year after year – is that traditions have symbols and families need symbols.  You decorate with the same ornaments, you bring out the old glass, wear a certain outfit , set the table in a certain way, things like that.  These are the unconscious moments of family ritual that become emotional security blankets to be tugged on in times of stress.  Cherished customs that are just as important for grownups as they are for children. Rituals bring comfort and joy.

We need to decorate the tree, light the menorah, make the valentines, dye the easter eggs, attend the Passover seder, etc. Our souls can never outgrow the yearning for luminous moments of wholeness.

So unpack those beloved holiday traditions.  Create new ones that express your authenticity, just as you create a new lifestyle.  Traditions are the guidelines driven deep into our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are the ones we can’t even describe, aren’t even aware of.

Source: Simple Abundance – a daybook of comfort and joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

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