Thanksgiving is on the way. I’ve always loved the Thanksgiving holiday. It hasn’t been as commercialized as many other holidays. It’s about gratitude. It’s about family. It’s about food. Still, sometimes the traditional Thanksgiving meal feels like too much. It’s okay to break tradition.
Have you ever thought about tradition? Why do we do the same things over and over? I think we desire things that are familiar and consistent. But tradition can also hold us back from trying new things. If we do something because we’ve always done it that way, we’re missing out on a plethora of alternative opportunities. What if we break tradition?
Tradition Can Turn Us Into Slaves
Recently, a friend mentioned that his dental hygienist jokingly referred to Thanksgiving as: “National women’s slave-in-the-kitchen day.” Sounds funny? But is it? Really?
I’m an advocate for simple living. Last year, some good friends invited my daughter and I over for the Thanksgiving meal. Of course, I thanked them on the way out. The lady of the house said, “you’re welcome.” Then she added that she and her sister-in-law had been up since five in the morning and had spent the entire day in the kitchen. They were worn out! That doesn’t sound too simple to me.
If we’re truly thankful for the ones who care for us all year long, why do we make them work five times as hard on Thanksgiving day?
Thanksgiving is supposed to be about gratitude. We’re supposed to be thankful for the things we’ve been given. We’re supposed to be thankful for those who have helped us. What if we showed that gratitude by giving our loved ones a break instead of making them work harder? What if we break tradition?
Tradition Can Lead To Overeating
I try to exercise and eat healthy. But then the holidays come around and we focus on eating big meals. Before you know it, I’ve gained that five pounds back that I just lost during the month of October.
It seems silly that we continually use tradition to justify eating more than we really need. Think of the ones who don’t get enough to eat. Eating too much leads to health problems. Health problems create expense. That’s not simple. What if we break tradition?
Tradition Can Lead To Overspending
Traditions not only lead us to eat more, they lead us to spend more. We buy extra kitchenware in order to prepare big meals. We buy more food than we normally would. We buy decorations. We buy, buy, buy.
Simple living promotes less expense. It makes no sense to pare down our belongings only to splurge and gorge during traditional holidays. What if we break tradition?
Consider Alternatives To Old Traditions
No one says we have to do it the same way every year. Why not do something different this year? Why not break tradition? Here are some ideas:
- Make a simple meal
- Spend the day outdoors
- Have a small barbecue
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter
- Take a day trip
It’s okay to break tradition. You don’t have to do the same things over and over to get the same results. Albert Einstein defined that behavior as “crazy.” It’s okay to shun the mainstream and do something more simple for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and any other holiday that promotes more, more, more.
It’s Okay To Break Tradition
I’ve made a vow to continually work toward living more simply. Holidays that include overindulgence do not promote the values of simple living. I’m going to break tradition this year. I’ll still remember the reason for the holidays: gratefulness, Jesus, love. But that doesn’t mean I have to follow the masses.