One of my favorite “Seinfeld “ episodes deals with George Costanza’s father ,Frank, and a holiday he created as an alternative holiday to the commercialization of Christmas. Frank Costanza called this holiday Festivus. If you enjoyed the humor of “Seinfeld”, you probably have seen this episode. But whether you have laughed along with the episode because this is your comic taste or not, the idea of an alternative celebration to any holiday can make life easier for anyone going through a transition.
Holidays are wonderful but can also be very stressful. Most holidays involve any mix of shopping, specialty cooking, baking, extra cleaning, travelling, and /or entertaining. Family and friends may be at a distance, relationships may be strained, and / or health status may be compromised just to mention a few challenges the majority of people face. So in order to survive holidays now and in the future, consider some guidelines to make them more enjoyable and easier overall.
Each holiday comes with its own traditions. So a suggestion is to consider one or two traditions that are the most important to you for each holiday you celebrate. By focusing on a smaller “to do” list of what you need to feel like you are celebrating, life gets easier. Whether it involves certain people, places, food, or religious services, just make a decision which factors will get most of your energy and attention.
Over the years, the circumstances of my life have changed drastically, therefore so have holiday celebrations. Some holidays I celebrate on alternative dates or days. Some activities have been changed, reduced, and in some cases eliminated. But on the flip-side, new traditions have been created. The goal is to give yourself a chance to determine what is important to you and your situation, and to be at peace with what you give yourself permission to let go.
Instead of trying to do it all, as you have in the past, with the help of a partner, other family members, or in better health, allow yourself the gift of finding a balance that works for you.
If you choose to have your own version of a Frank Costanza Festivus, with an unadorned aluminum pole as your holiday decoration, eating meatloaf and spaghetti, and airing grievances with family and friends, not to mention participating in feats of strength, on an alternate date other than your usual day of celebration, so be it.
The point is to be creative and have fun. You may find you like your new way of celebrating better in the long run.
Wishing you health and living your best life.