During this time of the year traditions are upon us. Whether you celebrate one of the seasonal holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, or Kwanza, or simply have winter activities you enjoy every year, you likely have a tradition or two you and your family enjoy. Unfortunately, divorce and child custody division often interfere with these traditions. This can turn the holidays and the end of the year into a depressing time, and those traditions you used to love to turn into something unattainable or unappealing.
If you are in this position, instead of letting “what used to be” control your life and bring you down, maybe try “what could be” and try out some new traditions to set yourself up for a happier holiday season and end of the year. To help give you some inspiration, we have compiled a list of activities and traditions you can try out on your own or with your loved ones.
Food Traditions (We are Happier with Snacks)
- Baking bread
- Cookie Decorating (Gingerbread houses can taste as good as they look.)
- Cookie Exchanges with friends, family, neighbors
- “Board” night (Charcuterie board, dessert board, butter board-the options are endless, and delicious.)
- “Fancy Feast” (Grab your group and go all out. Dress to nines, make that beef wellington you have admired by Gordon Ramsey. The world is your oyster.)
- Tamales Together (Get your loved ones together for tamale making. We aren’t judging you if you eat as much filing as you put in the tamales during assembly.)
- Favorite Holiday Meals (Brisket, Latkes and Challah, Crab, Pozole, Tortellini Soup and Tri tip Salad, Clam Chowder, Honey Baked Ham, Lasagna, Great Grandmas homemade yeast rolls)
- Decorating with, gifting, and eating Oranges to celebrate the seasonal fruit and its symbolism for the sun and longer days that will come in the new year
Activity Traditions (Fun and Festive with No Judgment Allowed)
- Christmas Light Drive (Great neighborhoods in San Diego include: Carlsbad-Christmas House at 7607 Romeria Street, Poway-Candy Cane Lane on Hickory Court, Hickory Street, Butterwood Court and Rockrose Court, Santee-Starlight Circle on Tomel Court off North Magnolia, El Cajon-Jingle Bell Hill on Solomon Avenue, Tierrasanta-5306 Belardo Drive has a computerized light show, Clairemont-Christmas Park on Lana Drive and Jamar, Bankers Hill-Forward House at 108 Ivy Street, Chula Vista-Christmas Circle on Whitney Street and Mankato Street.
- Christmas Light scavenger hunt (Make a list and check it twice. What can you find? Your list can be as simple or difficult as you want. Snowman in San Diego anyone? This is a great activity alone during those nightly mental health walks, or as a fun group activity divided into teams as a competition. If you are really competitive make your teams take photos as proof, they found the item. Bonus points if people in your group are in the photo- but Butler Law does not condone trespassing.)
- Matching Pajamas (If you are brave enough wear that festive attire out on the town. Does it get better than renting tandem bikes on the boardwalk dressed as Santa’s helpers?)
- Movie Night (Anything goes here. It does not have to be a Hallmark Christmas movie, or a rewatch of Elf for the 50th time. Watch whatever movie you like. As long as it is a cozy night in with a flick it works. Whether you are into watch sleighing (holidays) or slaying(horror) films this year, you can’t go wrong.)
- Ice Skating (Out of towners think ice skating in beachy San Diego is impossible. While it may not be ice surrounded by a blanket of white snow in the wilderness, there is a certain charm to ice skating on the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado or hitting up the indoor rink at the mall.)
- Game Night (There are so many game options you can enjoy solo or with a large group. Board games have come a long way and there is something out there for everyone. Games like ThrowThrow Burrito are great families with littles as young as 7. Video games are always a popular gift during the holidays and make for a great night in playing solo or with others. You don’t have to want to play the new Call of Duty or Elden Ring to enjoy gaming. Maybe Disney’s Dreamlight Valley is a great cozy option, and Mario Kart or Mario Party is always a crowd pleaser. Some games don’t need any purchased board or video options. One of our favorites is the Saran Wrap Ball. To play, gather as many things as you would like and wrap them individually with cling wrap until you have created a giant ball. Items can include candy, food, small items like stocking stuffers, lottery scratchers, or even random things you already have around the house. Gather your group together, sit and circle with a pair of dice and one person attempts to unravel the ball while the person next to them tries to get a matching pair on the dice. Once doubles are rolled the person unwrapping must stop what they are doing, and it passes to the next person in the circle. Whatever they got out of the ball during their turn is theirs to keep. Fun for everyone, though it can get competitive. This year we are adding duct tape to up the ante.)
Resolutions (Give yourself a break, you don’t have to have a resolution. You are good enough as you are. But if you want to try something out…)
- Starting a New Hobby (We are lucky to be surrounded with many hobby options in San Diego including outdoor activities like paddleboarding, hiking and rollerblading. Indoor activities like reading, art, gaming, or puzzles more your style? No problem, and whatever activity you can are interest in, you can likely find a group of people that enjoy the same thing. Platforms like MeetUp even specialize in connecting like-minded people if you need a buddy.
Whatever you are doing to finish out your 2022, you can do this, and Butler Law has your back.