Gratitude Experiments & Family Rituals

gratefulToday I’m grateful for my extended family  – the amazing friends and colleagues who’ve given us their unwavering love and support through the years. I’m blessed to be surrounded by people that I love, admire, and respect – people who inspire me. It’s a beautiful virtuous circle.

I chuckled when I saw this “Be Grateful” cartoon. To be truly grateful, sometimes you need to shred something into pieces – and transform it into a delicious new dish.  In my family, we shred potatoes and cook latkes to celebrate the Festival of Lights, a holiday built around gratitude, miracles and transformation.

This holiday season, I’m shredding more than potatoes. I’m also shedding old, outdated family habits – the “shoulds” that keep the holidays from being truly joyful & meaningful for us.  Can you relate to that? Is there anything you feel like you “should” do for the holidays that doesn’t really bring you and your family joy?

This year, we’re re-evaluating our family rituals, and trying out some new experiences.

  • For Thanksgiving, we’re joining  dear friends at a wonderful restaurant for a feast – and cleanup – handled by someone else. This is a first for me – I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving – but I’ve never tried before, because I felt that Thanksgiving SHOULD involve a home-cooked meal. I’m beyond excited – it’s so FREEING – and I’m grateful to have friends who are up for the adventure.
  • For Xmas, we’re heading to Mexico for scuba-diving, relaxing & (hopefully) escaping the onslaught of holiday commercialism. Again – something I’ve longed to do, but never quite pulled off.  I want to spend my holidays immersed in nature, in a beautiful low-key setting that promotes relaxation, renewal and family bonding.

Every ritual starts out as a one-time experiment. I’m excited to try these holiday experiments, and move from “should” to “why not?”

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I’d love to hear what you’re #grateful for – and what kind of  family rituals you’ve developed to increase your holiday joy.