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[whitespace] Toolkit for Reinventing Your Own Holiday Traditions

  • Take a small child shopping and watch the world grow new again.

  • Make all your gifts by hand this year. Keep it simple. If you love to bake, make everyone a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread or a batch of oatmeal cookies. Wrap them up in red ribbon and enclose a personal message.

  • Give your time to help others enjoy the holidays. Volunteer to cook and serve Christmas dinner at the local vets hall, senior center or homeless shelter. Nothing evaporates the holiday blues like sharing your own time and energy.

  • Retreat into the heart of the natural world. Schedule a hiking trip or a weekend at a distant beach for the big holiday dates. Alone. Take a notebook or watercolor paper and open yourself up to the seasonal mysteries that don't come wrapped in Mylar. You'll return refreshed in the true meaning of holiday, "holy day."

  • Lose the blues in another culture. Program yourself for December in the midst of a country for whom Hanuhkah or Christmas are unknowns. Bali would be nice. Tropical (no sleigh bells jingling), vibrant and unself-consciously noncommercial, a place like Polynesia or India would plunge you into the thick texture of a completely non-Western experience. This strategy also helps to realign your own tired beliefs as to there being only one passage to January.

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  • From the December 6-13, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

    Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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