Continuing the conversation from the December 7, 2013, EvolvingConnections Salon on Re-imagining the Holidays. Thanks to Kathy Ramundt, Evolve grad and Vital Aging Network Leadership Group member, for leading the salon discussion.
Salon participants shared their experiences of past holidays and ideas for making holidays more fulfilling. Here is some of what they said:
- One individual spoke about wanting to change her experience of family gatherings that lack authentic connection and feel soulless. She made a courageous decision this year to forego a gathering rather than participate in something that is sure to be painful, even though her husband and son will attend.
- Others spoke about the need to adjust expectations and traditions as situations change. Two told of a group of friends who for more than a decade have celebrated the Winter Solstice with a gathering of friends, food and homemade gifts. They celebrate nature, fire and the hope of the return of light.
- Several talked about the difficulty of finding others who are interested in sharing a holiday with non-family members. Some spoke of finding those connections in their churches or neighborhoods.
- Many had experienced being guests or hosts of near-strangers at holiday gatherings and being warmly rewarded with wonderful conversation and connection. A salon participant suggested that people take the chance of inviting rather than assuming someone already has plans.
- One woman told of posting an invitation on Meetup.com for brunch on Christmas morning at Keys Restaurant. Ten people showed up. Everyone was relaxed and open to connecting without the pressure.
What are your experiences and ideas? This is also a great place to suggest topics for future salons.