Are you about to open that box of old tree ornaments? STOP…right there. Don’t go any further unless you have a box of tissues or your therapist on speed dial. Seriously, those ornaments are packed with memories. Some are good and some are bad but memories of Christmases past, you may not want to reminisce on.
After 8 years, I opened ‘the’ dreaded box of ornaments and realize they still make me grumpy. The emotions that get triggered can spoil the whole tree trimming atmosphere. As I pull out the ornaments one by one, ghosts from Christmases past revisit, uninvited. ..
The ornaments my kids’ piano teacher gave them that year they had their first recital reminds me of the endless hours waiting in Mrs. Robb’s living room while my kids pounded on the piano keys. They dreaded their piano lessons probably because they refused to practice. They grew to dislike Mrs. Robb but I have to say, they learned from her.
Then the ornament from the beloved babysitter they outgrew reminds me of the joys of bringing a young sitter into the family and how much the children loved her. Sadly, I think of how I lost touch with her after the divorce.
Then my memory takes me to the times I decorated the tree alone and the year my ex refused to get the tree until Christmas Eve because it was an inconvenience for him. He was ‘too busy’ and I was ‘nagging’ him. Not exactly the fond Christmas memories one treasures.
I had better pack them back up carefully and preserve them for their rightful owners. Maybe someday the kids will appreciate the old ornaments but for now, they can haunt someone else.
Keep that box closed.
Trust me on this one.
Go directly to the store and get a whole new set of tree decorations. Sure, you’ll have a tree that has no immediate sentimental meaning but it also has no sad memories attached to it either. Make a tree just for your aesthetic pleasure. When was the last time you did that? A pretty Christmas tree to call your own…
While changing up the ornaments why not think about switching up holiday traditions too? Out with the old…
Tradition Switch Up Tips;
Ban all parties you used to attend with your ex-I know it sounds harsh but think of the time you’ll gain (and the questions you’ll avoid)…
Volunteer for a foundation or your local shelter, food bank or any cause for that matter-set a goal of a certain number of hours and when you accomplish that, you’ll feel great!
Choose an activity to do with your kids that you haven’t done in the past…attending a Christmas play? Going for a family skate and hot chocolate? Night skiing? Festival of lights? Getting active with your kids can be really fun and distracting from some of the buzzing undercurrent of the divorce
Spend Christmas somewhere you’ve never been before
Invest in yourself and give yourself a gift; something beautiful and indulgent to open Christmas morning
Try a few new holiday recipes
Volunteer Christmas Eve for Santa’s Anonymous (someone has to deliver all those gifts..)
If your children won’t be with you, plan a Christmas day activity just for you. A walk, a skate or ski day and also plan to spend time with a friend or family member
Use LOTS of twinkly lights!
Your tip ______________
Although traditions and routines give us comfort they also get stale. When your life changes, traditions need to change too. Many of our Christmas traditions are tied up with memories of people or times that are no longer a part of us. Keeping some of these memories is important but letting go of the ones that make us sad is essential.
Caveat: Discuss tradition switch ups with the children first and make sure you include some of their favorite things but explain that Mom needs some new memories and traditions.
Believe me, one day these will be the good old days. Your new traditions will become fond memories. Christmas doesn’t have to be the same every year to be celebratory. Add your tip in the comments section to complete the list of Christmas tradition switch up ideas.
Leave a comment, I LOVE ‘em!