I’m a person who really likes order. Who becomes sentimental about sameness. To say I like traditions would be an understatement. And the study of happiness backs me up here – children who are raised with routine and traditions (however small or silly) are more stable humans. However, I’m also a person who will do the same thing year after year, even if it’s become inconvenient or a grind, because I simply feel like I “can’t” break said traditions. Which does not always add to my overall happiness.

This may be the first year I feel like I’m able to loosen my grip on some of that. While I made a holiday bucket list (and shared it here), it’s just that. A list of “hopes” – not “do it or else you’ve failed at the holidays”. It’s okay to cut yourself a break some years. Or simply, shake things up.

If every year drive 2 hours to pick your tree at a local farm because that’s tradition but you have a feeling everyone in your house would be happier if you just switched to a fake tree and had it up in an hour – do that instead. If you think that ordering Chinese food on Christmas is actually what you’d enjoy more than spending 8 hours in the kitchen prepping a home-cooked feast – do that instead. Sure it’s nice to be able to say that you’ve done something every year for 10 years.. but it’s also nice to be happy in the moment each of those years.

So I suggest that you keep the traditions that bring you true joy. And the rest, allow yourself to reconsider. As long as you’re surrounded by the people that bring you true joy, it’s going to be a good holiday season.