It has been a tradition in my home to buy my children a tree ornament that captures a significant milestone or interest for them in the year we’re finishing up. Carefully unwrapping the ornaments each year has become another ritual, and a starting point for reminiscing and shared time. Looking at the fully decorated tree is like flipping through a photo album for me.

I started to ponder the role of rituals and traditions in our lives, and how they allow us to connect with our own history, and that of the generations that came before us.

And yet – rituals and traditions can also be oppressive. Rather than connecting to the moments in our lives, we find ourselves absently following the motions of tradition without noticing.

The tradition becomes an obligation. Another check-box on the to-do list. A source of frustration and boredom. A meaningless use of precious time and energy.

As we deepen into this holiday season – whatever your traditional celebration at this time of year – take time to reflect on what aspects of your rituals still bring you joy. Decide which ones you’ll keep, and which you are ready to let go.

And then? Let go.

Until next time,

Be well


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