After my 11-year marriage ended, I found myself facing a few very painful Christmases. The first one post-divorce (PD) was an absolute blur. The second one, not so bad. I had begun building a new social circle, and had started my incredible journey of healing. So, the third Christmas PD, I came to a realization.
I had no Christmas traditions of my own! During our 11 years of marriage, we had several awesome holiday rituals that I just loved. BUT I didn’t quite feel like continuing them by myself. I wanted to develop my own PD identity. So, I had a great conversation with myself…
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I discussed the things that I enjoyed. One thing that definitely came to the surface was my love of pie.
“Well, what kind of pie do you like?”
“I like ALL kinds of pie, but I absolutely love key lime pie!”
So, I made an agreement with myself. No strings attached. For Christmas Eve, I would make from scratch a key lime pie. I had never made one before, so there was significant risk. But what did I have to lose? I agreed with myself that if it was a bust, I would seek a new tradition for myself next year. However, if this key lime pie experiment was a success, then I’d make one each Christmas Eve.
So, how did it go, you might ask.
Several years later, and I’m still making key lime pies each year! (This reminds me, I need to go buy some key limes soon!)
Here’s my suggestion to you. You may be recently divorced, or you may have divorced several years ago. Either way, I think you’ll agree with me in your heart of hearts that the holidays are important. You might be in a fog still or in shock because of your divorce. But trust me, holidays have several layers of importance.
For starters, they allow you an opportunity to reflect on relationships, on life, on the future.
They also allow you to plant some milestones on your journey. They help you to see where you’ve come from and gauge where you’re going.
For me, this pie experiment was a prime opportunity to continue building my own identity.
What’s this mean for you?
Ask yourself what YOU like.
*Do you like live music? Go see a concert each Christmas.
*Do you like to cook? Learn how to make your favorite meal and invite your friends over to share it.
*Do you like to write? Write a poem or short story each Christmas, and keep a notebook of them to serve as a sort of time capsule.
*Do you like receiving letters? Write yourself a letter each New Years. Stick it in your stocking, and then open up that letter the following year. Another time capsule, in a way. Keep yourself informed on how your favorite football team is doing in the playoffs, or what your hopes are for the next year.
*Do you like movies? Watch your favorite movie sometime in the month of December. (For me, to keep things in perspective for Christmas, I like to watch the Passion of the Christ each year to remind myself why Jesus came to earth).
*Are you automotively knowledgeable? Give of yourself each December by offering to all your friends an oil change or a tune-up as an early Christmas gift.
*Do you collect anything? Whether its coffee mugs, coats, cigars, or shot glasses, search for the best possible addition to your menagerie each year!
*Do you have a favorite out-of-town restaurant? Make a pilgrimage there each year, just before Christmas.
*Do you like sports? Each year take a friend to see a football, hockey, or basketball game. (Let me recommend to you the Broncos, Avalanche, or the Nuggets).
*Is there a ministry or charity in town that tugs at your heart? Give of yourself and volunteer there each year around this time.
Let me know what you come up with! And, I mean this with all sincerity, I hope you have an awesome Christmas this year. Here’s to discovering who you are at your core, and to a great year ahead!