Holiday Traditions, Rituals and Habits

Holiday Traditions, rituals and habits are staples of our American culture.  But just because your mom or grandmother always did things a certain way doesn’t mean you have to unless you really want to.

In my family, our holiday traditions are wide ranging. Pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving is as traditional as it gets but we’re not exactly the “pumpkin pie” kind of family.  We might have the traditional turkey at Thanksgiving or we might have something non traditional like lobster for dinner depending on our mood. We might open our presents or Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  We might invite guests for a sit down dinner or host an open house during the holidays.  Maybe, your holiday traditions in your family include y volunteering to serve food at a homeless shelter.

Just because your mother or grandmother always made a roast for the holiday dinner, you don’t have to carry on that tradition unless it’s something you enjoy doing and want to do it.

What traditions do you plan to include or create for your holiday celebrations?

Give yourself permission to create whatever memories are meaningful for you and your family.

You may even decide to skip the cooking, planning, shopping and cleaning altogether and spend the holidays somewhere you and your family can be pampered so you can concentrate on enjoying quality time together.

Whatever traditions, rituals or habits you engage in,  make sure you include some down time, fun and relaxation in your holiday plans. Share your holiday traditions with us.

Enjoy Your Holidays!!!

Can You Show More Gratitude?


You can never run out of things to be grateful for. So many times we take everyday things for granted – like our cell phone connection, lighting and heat for our homes, the Internet, TV, microwaves, our games and global connections.

Recently, we had a major power outage in our town.  Our home was without power for seven days. For some folk the outage lasted longer. Spending two nights in a cold dark house with a fireplace for warmth and four nights in an emergency shelter was a stark reminder for me to be more conscious of the things I have to be grateful for.

It’s easy to be grateful when you receive a tangible gift or for food, clothes, shelter but what about the everyday things that we so easily take for granted like the technology that powers the nifty gadgets we use everyday to make our live easier, saves us time and provides entertainment?

Do you remember what it was like before cell phones with calendars when you lugged around a day planner to keep track of your schedule? It’s much more convenient to have a smartphone that is both calendar, telephone, with countless productivity and entertainment apps to simplify our lives.

I became acutely aware during the power outage of some of the things I’ve neglected to add to my daily gratitude list.  Here are just a few of the things I was reminded to be grateful for during the power outage:

  1. I am grateful for the technology that powers my gadgets – smartphone, computer, microwave, garage door opener, and answering machine
  2. I am grateful to have gas and electrical service that keeps me warm and cozy
  3. I am grateful for a large comfortable bed to sleep in
  4. I am grateful for the town services that supplied food, shelter, and hot showers to hundreds of families
  5. I am grateful for the friends who were concerned about our well being
  6. I am grateful for the utility companies from out of state who helped restore power
  7. I am grateful that we will be reimbursed by our insurance company for the spoiled food in our freezer

This could become quite a lengthy list so I’ll stop here.

I have a lot to be grateful for.

I hope you don’t experience a prolonged power outage before you show gratitude for the daily things you may have taken for granted.

And, for more tips on how you can show gratitude in your life, check out my book, Master the Genie Within

Show Your Appreciation in 10 Simple Ways

show appreciation Showing appreciation is about more than saying the perfunctory “thank you” when  someone does a good deed for us.  Many times, we neglect to tell the people who enrich our lives just how we feel about the things they do or say and that create a richer experience for us such as being a good friend or making us laugh.

We take so much for granted that we may not pay that much attention to the daily things we can do to light up someone else’s life.  As the wise poet, Maya Angelou says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

You can start now to “make someone’s day” by not only noticing their good deeds but also showing appreciation for their qualities, characteristics and unique traits. Here are a few ways you can easily brighten up someone’s day:

  • Send a card to a friend for just “being there”, “for being a friend” or a “just because I’m thinking of you”.  People in your life won’t know how much you care if you don’t tell them.
  • Put an “I love you” note on your child or spouse’s pillow to remind him or her how much you love them.
  • Place fresh cut flowers at the reception desk at your office to show appreciation for the help they give you.
  • Treat a friend to a movie you know they would enjoy.
  • Surprise your neighbor, who takes your packages when you are away, with a bouquet of flowers
  • Give an unexpected hug to someone in your family.
  • Scour your address book and call a friend who you’ve not been in touch with for a while.
  • Tell someone how much you value having him or her as part of you life.
  • Smile often. It not only brightens your mood, it will show others that you notice and connect with them.
  • Compliment a customer service worker who has been especially helpful.

Taking a little extra time to uplift someone’s spirit goes a long way in showing them that you care and that they matter to you.

And, for more tips on how you can show gratitude in your life and the lives of others, check out my audio and transcript More Wealth and Abundance.

Gladys M. Anderson | Self-Care Genie

Gladys Anderson – Life Coach, Therapist, Author

Certified Life Coach, Family therapist and Group Coaching Specialist, Gladys M. Anderson, helps nurses, teachers, social workers, therapists and other busy overwhelmed women to set limits so they have more time, more joy and more energy for self-care.

The Rainbow Appears After the Rain

A sudden summer rain shower did little to dampen the festive atmosphere at the rooftop party where I got to experience this spectacular light show in the form of a rainbow. A rainbow has been described as “one of the most spectacular light shows of the earth“. Rainbows are defined as optical and meteorological phenomena that produces a spectrum of light when the sun shines onto droplets of moisture in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Of course, none of that crossed my mind when I took this photo.  My only thought was that I might not get a chance to view this spectacular site from such a vantage point again.  I just knew I had to capture it even if I am an amateur photographer.

Months later, while purging some photos, I come across the rainbow picture and think of the rainbow as a metaphor for the contrasts we experience in our lives. To see a rainbow, one has to have rain and sunshine.

Remember, a rainbow doesn’t appear until after the rain. Into every life some rain must fall. And, while we would like to avoid the rain, it’s inevitable. But you don’t have to stay mired in the challenges, obstacles, and disillusionment that seem to fall from the sky. Instead, look for the rainbow.   Dolly Parton sums it up in this quote:

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta to put up with the rain” ~ Dolly Parton

When faced with the storms of life, take a moment to reflect on the rainbows that have appeared in your life after the rain has passed, such as:

  • An unexpected random act of kindness when you least expected it
  • A door of opportunity flung wide open for you to enter
  • A helping hand that came along just when you were ready to give up
  • One of your co-workers or friends surprises you with a special treat that makes your day

If you’ve experienced any of this,  you’ve had a rainbow burst through the clouds!

Comment and share your “rainbow””.

Gladys Anderson – Life Coach, Therapist, Author

Gladys Anderson helps singles and couples to receive, renovate, and restore the love, passion, respect and fun that’s been missing from their relationships.