You probably have decorations up. At home. In the office. Maybe your house is lit up from top to bottom, with trailing flashing lights, illuminated elves and a ho-ho-ho-ing Father Christmas? Maybe not.
Decorations are a tradition at this time of year. As is the tree. So too Brussels sprouts, parsnips, Christmas pudding, mince pies, giving gifts, time off work, parties, over eating, old films on the television…
Traditions connect us to the past.
As individuals we have traditions too. Ways of being, behaviours, things we say or do. We learned them a long time ago, but they stay with us in the present.
Traditions can be thought of as the passing of customs, behaviours or beliefs from one generation to the next, usually within a specific group. Often they reflect a special significance, a meaning defined by our ancestors, long ago.
So too with our own traditions of custom, belief or behaviour. Except with our own traditions of being, we created the meaning and the significance ourselves. And we passed them down, from our childhood, through our teenage formative years, into our early adulthood, our mid-life (crisis optional) and on into our old age. At an early stage of our lives we decided something had to be so. Probably for good reason. Now we continue to live it. It has become our own personal tradition.
Sometimes we would do well to unpack these. To review them. To notice them. To see if they still serve us well.
Traditions can be good. Reminders of our past. Connections to where we come from. But sometimes they can become unhelpful, inappropriate or even a burden.
Reviewing our traditions is probably something we should all do, at this traditional time of year.
Keep what serves you. Change what doesn’t.