The holidays are a fantastic time to create rituals that invite us to pause and reflect on the year behind us and consider what we want most for our days ahead. Not only does taking time to do this allow a way to integrate lessons learned both collectively and individually, it also provides a place to share these things when we might otherwise keep them stored inside. What’s more, looking back on the ways a family has grown, or the ways dreams were realized (or turned into something completely different) after many years is the way this simple and quick ritual can turn into something priceless that can be enjoyed perhaps even by generations who will follow.
This year I took a simple sketchbook from an arts and craft store (I got mine at Michael’s), and I decorated it with recycled Christmas cards I received. My intention is to have my family members answer each question over the holiday season. I plan to have each person write their answer in their own handwriting (or transcribe for anyone who can’t).
I opened the first page and put our family’s name.
The second page I put the current year we are answering the questions.
Then each page that followed I headed with a handful of questions I found in a National Geographic book we’ve had a few years called: Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Christmas with Carols, Presents and Peace.
- What was something you did for the first time since last holiday season?
- What was your favorite moment of this year?
- By this time next year, I hope to…
- If I knew I couldn’t fail, I would…
- If I could do one thing to make the world abetter place, I would…
I am convinced that ritual is one of the key ingredients to a life well-lived – or at the very least, a great way for a busy person to notice when he or she is in the midst of a life well-lived!
And I am even more convinced that ritual is most likely to happen consistently when it is simple, easy, imperfect, and quick.
This project literally took me about 20 minutes to make and another 20 minutes to blog about. So it truly is an easy one to incorporate. Let me know if you try it!