Create A New Ritual
A friend and his spouse have a simple holiday tradition. They go out for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. They go to the same cozy diner and try to sit at the same table every year. It gives them a view of the restaurant’s TV and the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Simple as it is, they look forward to their special ritual every year. It kicks off the holiday season for them.
Social psychologist Shira Gabriel says, “Rituals give us a feeling of going beyond the ordinary—of having a moment that transcends that, turning events into something special and meaningful.” Rituals can be as simple as saying grace or raising a glass to toast a family dinner, or blowing out all the candles on a birthday cake. Little rituals like these lend a certain magic, spirit, and texture to our everyday lives.
Holidays are a great time to create totally new traditions and rituals that personalize your celebration of these often hectic festivities. And sharing these specially invented traditions with others brings people closer together, making holidays all the more cherished.
We can invent new ways to celebrate special days to make them feel less stressful and more heartfelt, like volunteering at a foodbank on Christmas day, writing an annual story together on New Year’s Day or making homemade birthday cards. Friends and neighbors may decide to celebrate the first night of winter each year with a candlelit feast to which everyone brings a special dish.
This is how happy memories are made.
Change facilitator Gustavo Razzetti believes that rituals like these turn “small, everyday acts into more significant ones. They add meaning and joy to our lives.”