Note: I apologize to everyone in advance who loves holiday traditions. I’m probably the only one who doesn’t do traditions.
The holidays are fast approaching and you may find yourself dreaming about green bean casserole, black Friday, toddler stocking stuffers or turning on some Bing Crosby to get the holiday mojo going. It’s hard not to notice all the holiday traditions going on around the world with headlines like these popping up around the web and in my newsfeed.
— 10 Holiday Traditions to Start This Year
— Holiday Traditions to Do With Your Kids
— Why Everyone Needs a Holiday Tradition
— How to Keep Your Holiday Traditions Alive
After seeing all these posts, it got me thinking about what holiday traditions we have. And then I realized, we don’t have any. Aside from putting up the tree, we do not have a single one. Even more shocking—I don’t even intend to start any this year. You might think I’m a scrooge for not having a single holiday tradition, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing.
Don’t get me wrong holiday traditions are fabulous and help the holidays feel extra special and comforting for many, but your season won’t be any less joyful or merry without them.
Here’s why you can skip the holiday traditions if it suits your fancy:
You get to be whimsical with gift giving.
You see, no one expects that I’m going to give them the best gift ever. No one even expects a gift from me. We buy gifts that we really like when it suits the person well and avoid the obligation of giving a hum-ho-not-well-thought-out gift just for the sake of gift giving traditions.
You can skip that horrible recipe you used last year.
I’m so over green bean casserole. Nothing says Christmas like a can of Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom soup over frozen green beans topped with fake fried French onion pieces. Seriously, are those even real onions?
Let’s all just admit that some of these ‘traditional’ recipes may be better off as a distant memory. I apologize to anyone who likes green bean casserole. I really don’t mind it, but it’s not the world’s greatest side dish either.
You can be late or not show up at all.
People have low expectations when you don’t follow traditions the normal family way. They just assume that you may or may not be there. Each year I see my parents over the holidays on a different day. There is no expectation for me to show up on Christmas morning at 10 am sharp. Hooray for that!
If you don’t feel like it, you just don’t do it.
If you want to listen to Bing Crosby’s It’s a White Christmas while you put up the tree and drink a cup of hot cocoa, by all means, you should. But if this year you really don’t feel like it, you don’t have to. Just sayin’
You can skip the crummy white elephant gifts.
I’m down with all the white elephant gifts, but sometimes it’s a real drag. Why do I have to go out and waste $5 on a bum gift just so you can give me a $5 bum gift back. Getting toilet paper or an ugly sweater is sorta funny until 10 years goes by and you realize you have 50 bucks worth of added junk sitting around.
You avoid the horrors of black Friday.
Personally, I don’t get the whole black Friday holiday shopping tradition. I cannot think of anything less holiday-esque than getting trampled by some possessed shopper at Wal-mart or standing in line for 3 hours just to buy a Blu-Ray player for 50 percent off. C’mon, you know it’s true! There’s always some over-sensationalized video on the news each year about shoppers being injured on black Friday. I’d much rather just shop on Amazon and use a coupon code. Maybe that’s just me.
No one has to endure my caroling voice.
I’m the first one to admit, I have a singing voice best reserved for the shower. I’m basically sparing everyone the not-so-Christmas-cheery voice that I have 🙂
You can skip Elf on the Shelf.
Oh mercy. Last week there was this totally awesome article called Why We Are Never Ever Doing Elf on the Shelf. Pretty much explains why skipping that tradition might be the best decision ever.
It keeps things new and exciting.
Each year we get to do something different. We get to make it our own little unique Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. We get to travel to different locations and enjoy a new experience.
We cook different foods, participate in different activities and share in the holidays with a variety of friends and family.
It’s way more flexible (and whimsy too).
For as type A, scheduled, and routine oriented as I am (yes, I know I have a problem), the holidays are actually a pretty whimsy time for me.
I’m laid back and relaxed. No need to muss or fuss over doing a little tradition. If we get to do a fun tradition for more than one year in a row, that’s great. If not, no worries.
No one’s disappointed.
No one’s got their heart set on doing things a certain way. We aren’t obligated to do a certain activity to make our holiday season feel just perfect, special or just right. Keeping expectations low keeps everyone a little bit happier. When we actually do a fun activity or get up at 5 am to open presents, it is a pretty exciting time.
Less work overall.
The holidays are an incredibly busy time, so it helps not to worry about making time for a specific tradition every year. There is no additional items to check off on my to-do list. Personally, I don’t feel the need to add to the stress. Doing fewer traditions makes the holidays feel a bit simpler.
And finally, just less pressure overall.
I’m totally not as fun as other moms. I’m actually pretty boring. I kind of just let the holidays fall how they may. It’s less pressure than worrying about baking 5 batches of cookies for the cookie exchange I’m obligated to do. It’s less pressure than worrying about knocking on doors to go caroling. It’s less pressure than worrying about decorating the tree exactly the same way each year. You get the idea.
So I know I’m probably the only one who doesn’t do holiday traditions. It doesn’t mean we don’t get festive around here. It simply means we don’t do the same thing every year. You can have a successful Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s without traditions. I’m living proof.
If you skip holiday traditions, please tell me in the comments so I know I’m not the only one 🙂
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