Celebrating the holidays circles on tradition—tapping into something larger than ourselves that we belong to—a heritage, a culture, a broader identity and actions than the individualized sense of self and activity that permeate so much of everyday life. While many traditions are the very heart of our celebrations—the most treasured, vital, and precious aspects of our holiday time, some traditions cast shadows on our merriment when they are practices that are empty or outdated. So, what do we do with these traditions that no longer speak to us, or no longer accomplish what they once set out to? The holidays can be the very time to transform the moments that fall short and emerge with new traditions, like using a fallen branch of a tree for your Christmas ornaments instead of chopping down a tree; adding Festivus, the zany holiday created by a Seinfeld episode, to lighten up your end of year celebration.
For many, I think, the holidays are a mixture of excitement and exhaustion, whether planning gifts and menus, spending hours shopping for those gifts, or spending days preparing extravagant holiday meals, all of it ending too soon. Together these activities and duties form the yearly ritual of observing the holidays—the moments that have us rolling our eyes and huffing in stress, to the moments of gratitude and heartwarming happiness for the people and practices that remind us whom we love, what we cherish, and how we want to celebrate each year.
As you head into the holidays this year, why not take a moment to assess what practices should stay, what you would prefer to go, and what new traditions you would like to create? Consider evolving some of your traditions to better reflect the priorities and realities of you and those closest to you. I know bucking tradition and throwing off long-held ways of doing things can feel daunting, maybe even impossible. As founder and president of a company that defies a lot of long-established ideas regarding the best model for employment and staffing, I’m no stranger to the pushback and doubt that can get lobbed at you for being bold enough to make sensible amendments to tradition. But I’m also no stranger to the deep reward that comes from making a well-thought out change to an established practice, and pursuing a path that has carved out a successful new way of doing things while honoring the traditions that have come before.
WAHVE is nearing its eight-year anniversary, and reflecting on the success and growth we’re experiencing, I’m reminded how grateful I am for both the old traditions that shaped and informed my life, and for the new traditions that I forged personally and professionally. This holiday season, I hope you find yourself enjoying and celebrating the traditions that are fondest and truest to you, and reflecting on your ability to redefine and pursue traditions that meaningfully enrich and amend the way that things have been done. Happy holidays from all of us at WAHVE. We wish you a holiday filled with joy, laughter, happiness and the warmth of family and friends!