How to Create New Holiday Traditions


Halloween is over, and suddenly we are faced with the next holiday on the list! The anxiety starts mounting; we start thinking of making others happy, all the while we just want to stay home in our PJs. It’s easy to get caught up in that feeling of helplessness.

“My mom would be so mad if I decided to stay at home with my family.” Have you ever thought that? “I just don’t want to hear it, it’s easier to just go.” Been there? I get the draw to squelch the holiday drama and just go with the flow. However, the easiest route isn’t always the one that inspires joy.

Kids Cooking During Holidays

First, what else are you denying in the process when you fold to the feeling of fear? Second, it’s possible to claim what you want for the holidays and move towards making it a reality – without creating World War Three.

Holidays are about family, right? As we grow, however, our family becomes more centered on our children, partners, and in the home. We can choose to honor that more deeply by creating our own traditions, even if we don’t quite have the nerve, yet, to say no to our parents on Thanksgiving Day.

Creating your own holiday traditions will bring more positivity to your holiday season. It’s something you created with your family and share with them. You can also consider moving towards staying home if you are feeling really brave!

What Do The Holidays Mean to You?

As you think about holiday traditions, close your eyes (well, after you stop reading this article) and focus on what would feel amazing during the holidays. What would bring about joy, warmth, and excitement? Now, get out a piece of paper and write that all down without thinking what is realistic. All ideas get a voice here so write it down!

Next, think about what is realistic to implement this year, without causing extra stress. Maybe something fun like PJs and hot chocolate from Creo Chocolate in NE Portland by the fire after all the holiday craziness ends. Perhaps order decadent cinnamon rolls from Kyra’s Bakeshop for the morning on Christmas Day. Consider a movie countdown with your favorite seasonal movies. Whatever the ideas on your list, narrow it down to three things you can add in around the current holiday plans. Set the times and dates for it now.

It’s OK to Decline

Feeling brave? Decide to say no to traveling plans altogether by politely declining the offer and staying close to home. The drama may heat up momentarily, but the truth is this is your life. You get to decide. You can politely decline by simply saying, “Thank you so much for the invitation, we are looking forward to a quiet holiday at home this year. “ In fact, you can even invite others to your house if you love the idea of hosting instead of traveling all over. Bottom line, mama, it is your decision.

So, I’m excited to hear from you.
What is it that would make you feel amazing during the holiday season?
Are you brave enough to claim it?


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Anna De Salvo is a mom, wife, speaker, and course creator for working moms. She helps working moms reclaim the hours so they have the energy to juggle it all. Her passion is helping other moms find the time to do the one thing that would make them feel amazing. As a working mom, she consistently is looking for ways to improve her time freedom, and happiness so she can show up for her family. You can find her at for tips, strategies, and recipes that are timesaving and family-friendly. If you are looking for the hours in the day to juggle it all, grab her time-saving system to stop feeling pulled in a million directions:


    • I agree that is so hard. We never want to burn those bridges. I think most people can understand the desire to stick close to home! Perhaps saving travel for a less expectation-filled time of year!

  1. Love this! When my kiddos were babies it was hard because we always traveled for the holidays to be with family. It wasn’t until the kids were little older and we lived farther from family (would have to fly) that we actually were able to have our own Christmas at our house. I love having our own but I do miss being able to spend it with family as well.

    • Yes! Finding time to be with family is important, I agree. We definitely include family as much as we can. Creating that balance between less stress and family time can be a challenge, but exploring it is worth it!

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