Tip#3: Are Your Traditions Outdated?

Annmarie atop Cadillac

Annmarie atop Cadillac

Do You Love Your Traditions?

Some things we do just because we’ve always done it – even when they no longer serve their purpose.

I realized that on my last trip to Maine while hiking Cadillac Mountain.

Cadillac is the tallest mountain in Acadia National Park – 1532 feet – the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. It takes about five hours up and down. I hike it with my sweetie, Joseph. We bring a sandwich and, at the top, enjoy lunch feeling totally at one with God and nature.

Hiking Cadillac is a tradition, not every year but every few years.

This year I noticed something different. I don’t know why. Maybe there was more vegetation, which obstructed some of the beautiful views. Or maybe it was because I hiked both up and down instead of hiking up the mountain but walking down around the mountain on the road (where every step shows some beautiful scene). Whatever it was, I realized in hour four that I wasn’t enjoying the hike.

That’s when I decided that there are plenty more hikes in Acadia. They are equally challenging with great scenery. Why use my vacation time doing a hike I didn’t love?

Here’s the kicker: the view at the top of Cadillac is outstanding. It’s one of the prettiest in the world. And I can get there by car.

It’s the same with holiday traditions. Some of them were great fun at other times, like your childhood or when you lived in another place. But now they are just plain outdated. You still love the memory of them, but you just don’t have fun doing them anymore. You still bake the cookies, but it’s a hassle. Or you have everyone over but, when they leave, instead of saying “it was a lot of work, but worth it,” you’re not feeling the good vibes or afterglow.

So, this year, challenge every tradition…

  • If the tradition has run its course, let it go
  • Some traditions are ready for the next generation to take over - Let them.
  • Keep the traditions that you most want to do and that make you happy
  • Make new traditions - ones that fill you with joy

BTW: Just because you ditch a tradition now doesn't mean you can't bring it back in years to come. Just make it your choice.

Read more: Ten Tips for Happier Holidays.

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