The Holidays are full of memories. Extended family gatherings at grandmother’s house and great big pot luck dinners all make us wax nostalgic. But the holidays, like the rest of life, do not stay the same. They change over time as circumstances change.
Grandma dies, grandpa remarries, family members move across the country, cousins marry and go the wife’s family for Christmas, people divorce, and the celebrations change or maybe fall apart all together. It might be easy to get caught up in the memories and get stuck in the sad. Mourning the loss of what was is not the problem. The problem occurs when we are not able to enjoy what could be or what we have.
The trick is balance. Cherishing the memories while jumping into making new memories and enjoying what we have right before us. It’s not easy, especially if the event that changed the holiday is fresh. Before a person can move on, they need to let go of the past. Letting go does not mean forgetting. It means opening yourself to new happiness, allowing yourself to enjoy the present.
That can be hard. It may mean you have to look for something you like about grandpa’s new wife. It might mean you have to try your son-in-law’s fried turkey! Roasting is not the only way to cook a bird, you know.
If the gathering has become smaller. Look for the opportunity having a smaller group presents. Perhaps the kids can decorate cookies or help another way in the dinner preparation. Make new memories and traditions.
As the day draws to an end, those gathered can take a moment to share one of their favorite memories of holidays past. Then everyone can also share what they loved about the present get together. Finding a way to enjoy what you have now doesn’t diminish what you had in the past.