Do you remember Simon and Garfunkel’s song on feeling groovy? I like the lines, “I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep” because they remind me I am responsible for how I choose to spend my time. While the total absence of commitment is not likely to be true for most of us in retirement, these words are good reminders to create and have joyful holidays in retirement.
Slow it down
I mention this because I recently heard a group of retirees agonizing over the common tendency to get caught up in the rush of holiday preparation. Surely we want or families to be joyful during the season of celebrations, and we want our homes to look festive. I know I enjoy all these elements of the season, but recent conversations have inspired me to ask what I can do differently this season.
As I pondered this question, I came across an insightful quote by the author and success coach, Steve Chandler.
“Shift your mind. Watch what happens to the world around you.”
This thought has the power to change our worlds—and our holidays. Deciding to make this season peaceful and joyful, maybe even indulging in simpler activities could prompt us to take time to be grateful for our lives and embrace treasured relationships.
A new mind shift could inspire new activities
Shifting our minds to simplicity and gratefulness could also inspire us to create new activities. Have you ever taken a memory walk with your grandchildren to show them where their mother or father lived as a child or where they played ball or went to school? Since many of us have moved from the homestead, it’s possible that our grandchildren have never seen their parents’ childhood homes.
If a walk down memory lane isn’t feasible, you might pull out long forgotten pictures that show Daddy or Mommy with a funny haircut or holding their own trophies or sledding the week traffic was stopped because of too much snow. Surely these will bring a laugh and a joyful holiday!
You could turn these experiences into a game of charades as the young ones act out something their parents might have done in their youth or you could have a cooking fest where the young ones prepare a parent’s favorite after sledding snack. Sometimes these are the best gifts we can give our family. They certainly avoid hectic malls.
Recipe for staying happily married in retirement
Chandler states that one thing he’s learned from talking with retirees is that those who enjoy retirement have a positive attitude toward this life stage. They embrace and get excited about what they have time to do or accomplish. Doesn’t this sound like the perfect recipe for staying happily married in retirement as well?
What’s your family’s favorite holiday tradition? Please tell us below. It’s always fun to share your traditions, and you might inspire someone to try something a little bit different.