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Holidays at Midlife: How Things Have Changed

Holiday traditions change as you get older, your kids grow up and move away, your priorities are different, new technologies and new ways of doing things have an impact. Let’s face it; we simply cannot do what we have always done, and that includes the way we celebrate the holidays.

Holiday traditions change as you get older, your kids grow up and move away... Some holiday traditions become even more important as we get older. It feels good to remember earlier, happy holidays. Using that special dish, making that one extra special recipe, reminiscing about the good old days adds a special feeling to the holiday season.

There is nothing quite like passing on your traditions to a whole new generation. My daughter is married and spending her first Christmas with her new husband. One of the things she is planning for her first married holiday is to watch her favorite Christmas movies with her husband. I was excited to purchase copies of some of her favorite movies, the ones we used to sit and watch together each year, so she can start her own tradition of watching these with her new family. Passing along that special book or ornament so your grown child can continue the family tradition is a special way to continue those things that are most meaningful to you.

Some holiday traditions become less important as we get older. We evolve and change and some parts of the holiday change and evolve too. As many of us look at downsizing our lifestyle once our kids move out, sifting through the boxes of decorations, we tend to keep only the really meaningful ones. When there are no longer young children in the household, gift-giving changes too, with an emphasis on quality not quantity. Even the way we shop has changed, technology has made shopping so quick and easy, even the shipping is streamlined. We don’t need to stand in long lines at the post office, when Amazon will send a gift right to our door. Getting older means a new way of decorating, too. Getting up on ladders was fine when we were much younger, but now we have to hire someone or simply go without all of the lights across the rooftop.

Midlife is a wonderful time to start some new holiday traditions. How about some fun new pajamas and taking the day off work for Cyber Monday, shopping online together and eating Christmas cookies? Learning how to Skype or video chat with your kids and grandkids brings a whole new meaning to ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’. Sharing your favorite holidays recipes with your family members on a holiday Pinterest board is a fun new tradition. Be creative – the possibilities are endless.

As we get older the way we celebrate might change a little, but some things about the holidays will always be the same, the love and special feeling that the holidays bring will always be important.

Laurie WJN

Laurie WJN is a self-described writer, dreamer and child at heart. Her unique insights on emotions and behavior come from her many roles as a wife, mother, sister and former recreational therapist and middle school teacher. Laurie wrote her first book in 2001. Laurie lives in Arizona with her incomparable husband and three unruly dogs. You can buy Laurie's book, The Misadventures of Me and My Uterus, on Amazon.

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