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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Importance of Traditions

Traditions enrich the holiday season by allowing loved ones to recognize the culture and history that has shaped their identities. They add meaning to our experiences and enhance a sense of belonging with others. In an uncertain world, we find security in something remaining the same over time that can also be passed down through the generations. When we move from one phase of life to the next, the traditions we cherish and our values can remain a constant. The smells, tastes, and sounds we look forward to each year are predictable, familiar, and comforting.

Traditions do not have to be about what religion a person practices or the specific cultural beliefs they hold. Traditions are about creating and holding meaning with the people who are important to us. Family is not always nuclear, but it is where love and connection are cherished. Tradition recognizes what we hold sacred, whether it be a recipe, a song, a game, or an order of doing things. These rituals nurture our relationships and foster positive memories that we hold dear and keep with us over time.

The holidays — no matter how they are celebrated — allow the community to take a much-needed pause. People step away from work with the expectation that friends, families, neighbors, and community become the priority. During this time, we call more attention to the things that really matter to us. We feel grateful for the opportunity to spend time, to share in a meal, to support one another, and to give. We count our blessings, instead of focusing on what is lacking, missing, or not good enough. This recognition and appreciation elevate our state of mind, mood, and spirit.

Though holidays can bring stress and imperfection, take the time this season to recognize and appreciate how your traditions can connect you to what you love most.

To learn more about psychotherapy and Grace Stevens, check out Growing through Grace at growingthroughgrace.info.

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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