Navigating Interfaith Holiday Celebrations
- Published on Thursday, 03 December 2015 10:00
The holiday season is joyous, but with all its preparations, it can be stressful even under the best of circumstances. Once you begin mixing different religious and cultural beliefs and holiday traditions into the mix, it can feel even more convoluted.
Why not stop worrying about navigating interfaith celebrations, though, and look for ways to embrace them instead? Just imagine how lucky you and your family are. You get to participate in not only one set of celebrations and traditions, but two – or more! These clever tips will have you navigating these intercoastal waters like an old sailor pro in no time.
Consider Separate Celebrations
This helps to avoid confusion and allows individual family members to focus on one celebration or event at a time. It also allows extended family members the opportunity to choose which celebrations they prefer to be part of. This can be extremely important to older adults who might feel confused by attending a celebration that is mixed.
Doing this also helps to keep each holiday with its rich history and amazing traditions as a separate event. That helps to avoid the potential for confusion among children as well.
Communicate and Keep Communicating
Sometimes it takes time to truly express what the holidays and certain holiday traditions mean to you. With interfaith families it can get even more confusing. Talk about the traditions that mean the most to you and work together to decide which traditions to bring into your own celebrations. Then communicate with your family to explain what’s going on and invite them to share in your celebrations as they are comfortable to do so.
Don’t Make Your Family Responsible for Saving Someone’s Holiday
Everyone seems to have his or her own most important, favorite holiday tradition. That’s great. But remember, it’s not your entire responsibility to honor them and it’s too much stress to take on. Instead, create traditions of your own. Start new traditions that incorporate all the holidays you’re celebrating.
In other words, figure out what’s most important for you. What are the things you like most about each holiday and how can you incorporate them into the overall holiday season. After all, there are more than one or two days involved in the season. What makes the holidays magical for your family? Once you figure this out, you’re well on your way to creating the traditions that will matter most for you.
Last but not least, plan ahead. Start talking — and making decisions— about how the family will celebrate before the holiday season begins.
The holidays are a busy time of year for people of all faiths. Don’t burn yourself out this holiday season with your role as caregiver while navigating the tricky waters of interfaith celebrations. Instead, call Fall River Jewish Home at 508.679.6172 to learn about how respite care can help you get a handle on your holiday celebrations this year.