Thanksgiving used to be one of my least favorite holidays.
Gathering around the table with family and food was never something that appealed to me having grown up in a broken home.
There was always something missing…always someONE missing.
Just because it didn’t appeal to me in the past doesn’t mean I can’t create new meaning for my own family today and in the future.
Last year I laminated leaf cut-outs, and using a dry erase marker had each member of my family write out something he/she was thankful for each day and taped them to our kitchen cupboards. (We actually wrote them out for our 2 year old son, but he was included). Not only did it help us think about what we were thankful for, it brightened up our kitchen. At the end of the month, I simply took down the leaves, pulled off the tape, erased the words, and stored them away for this year. This method allowed me to only have to cut out leaves once.
This year, as we were getting closer to the end of the Halloween festivities, I found myself getting excited about our new Thankful Leaves tradition.
Holidays can be times of great joy, memories, and traditions, but they can also be times of great sorrow, painful memories, unfulfilled desires, and grief over loved ones who are no longer with us.
Don’t be afraid to make new meaning during the holidays. If your grieving, you can still grieve. Read my recent post called The Birth of Joy where I share about learning to grieve better.
Our culture doesn’t give us much of an option in ignoring a holiday. Reminders of upcoming holidays are almost everywhere you go and discussed with almost everyone you encounter. If you have a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit, whichever holiday it is, try and find a way to create new meaning for yourself and/or your family where needed.
You might be surprised at what you come up with,
and better yet,
you might be surprised at the healing and growth you gain.