The Holiday Season & My Obsession with Tradition

When my sister’s boyfriend came to watch us cross the finish line of our half marathon, my mom warned him that “now that you’ve done this once, Lauren will consider it tradition and expect you to be at the finish line every year.”  Ha, I’ll be damned if that isn’t a frighteningly accurate summation of my life.

Look, I’m well aware that once I do something and love the outcome, I’m hell bent on repeating it year after year.  You know, to recreate the same level of predictable happiness that I attained the time before.  And there is no time that I’m more determined to be repetitive than during the holidays.  I can’t help it, it’s such a special time of the year and I’m deathly afraid of changing things up, for fear of disrupting my own vision of how things should be.  Plus the holidays totally cater to tradition, making it just that much easier to convince myself that things MUST be the same way they were last year.


But the thing is, and I’m just sloooowly realizing it, is that things DON’T have to be the same to be good and changing things up just creates opportunity for NEW good experiences.  Take Thanksgiving for instance.  Every year, we run a Turkey Trot.  This year, we didn’t.  And can I tell you what a HUGE RELIEF it was to just have a calm relaxing morning at home, drinking coffee and watching the Macy’s Day Parade?  It’s like these holiday traditions are so ingrained in my head that I don’t even ask myself if I even really want to do them or not.

So even though I’m still hell bent on taking advantage of every single holiday moment, this year I’m really going to keep in mind that things do not need to be pre-determined.  Spur of the moment decisions are fun.  Changing it up is exciting.  And even if I end up missing some holiday tradition, there’s ALWAYS next year and the year after that and the year after that!


Are you a creature of habit, especially this time of year?

Are there any holiday traditions you CAN’T go without?

12 thoughts on “The Holiday Season & My Obsession with Tradition

  1. Definitely a creature of habit with a lot of things! But our holidays vary every year since we don’t live near family so my only request is that we all have to spend quality time together 🙂

  2. Lovely tree pic!

    Glad you are branching out! I grew up with very specific traditions, but once I moved here, Christmas is pretty much a free-for-all, but always amazing! This year we are headed to explore the whole state of Oregon from Christmas Eve through the first week of January. We got a new iMac and our vacation as “gifts” but vowed to put nothing under the tree. I think tradition will come back again when we have kids!

    • I tried to convince my husband to buy each other a new set of knives and not put anything under the tree but he wouldn’t go for it 🙂 Went to Oregon for the first time this year and man, is it beautiful!

  3. It’s funny… I have never really thought of myself as being super tied to traditions but reading your post and relating it to it so much made me realize that I totally am! But I love your conclusion and will be trying to keep it in mind in the next few weeks, even if/when things deviate from normal 🙂

    • I think most people are big on tradition this time of year so it’s almost automatic and you don’t even notice it. Thanks for your sweet comment!

  4. This is a great post with such truth to it. I find myself falling into this same position a lot, and not just with holidays! I’m that person that is so rooted in habits and “tradition” that I decorate my tree the SAME way every year. How boring is that?! But I’ve convinced myself it’s the only way it’ll look decent. Well, now I have my two nephews living with me – and I’m letting them decorate! Talk about a break in tradition 😉

  5. I was always a creature of habit, but after having to spend Christmas in Asia for the last 5 years, I’ve learned that some traditions don’t work without your loved ones around and in a country that doesn’t really celebrate Christmas. I’m trying to create new traditions with my husband though and now that we are living in Denver, I’m all about Christmas this year!

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