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Forget having a happy Christmas – try to have a meaningful one instead

Happiness can be fleeting, while meaningfulness gives value to your life. And at this time of year, traditions will help establish that purpose

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Family time: Traditions like baking with your children will trigger happy memories. Picture posed

Family time: Traditions like baking with your children will trigger happy memories. Picture posed

Family time: Traditions like baking with your children will trigger happy memories. Picture posed

Christmas can be a tricky time. For most of us it is a joyful occasion when family gather, and we celebrate. Even if you no longer mark the religious aspect of this time, you are hopefully still looking forward to a break from school and work and the chance to celebrate your own family traditions.

For some families, however, Christmas may not be a time of celebration but instead might be a time of increased turbulence. Special occasions, such as Christmas, can be especially difficult, for example, after a loved one dies. Holidays can trigger increased alcohol use, with the danger that presents for some families. As I wrote recently, parental separation, or divorce, can be more poignant and troubling as families try to make fair arrangements for each parent to spend time with their children. Sibling tensions, or extended family woes, may be brought into sharp focus by extended time spent together. Homelessness may hurt harder while everyone else seems to celebrate.


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