Why I love the Winter Holidays

Tis the season of joy, giving, relaxation, and social gatherings.  A season where we get to reflect on the past year: the good, the bad, major accomplishments, and areas of improvement.  For most, work is a bit slower which allows us more time to get away from the office, travel with loved ones and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  This is why I love the winter holidays!

Family Traditions

Personally, this is the time of year in which I get to go home and see my family.  Being a 6-hour drive away from my parents and four siblings can make me home-sick from time to time.  When I travel to Los Angeles I know that I can expect to be welcomed home with open arms from my crazy, energetic sisters and brother.  For as long as I can remember, I have had the responsibility of cooking holiday meals for my family.  Growing up with Nigerian parents and relatives, my siblings and I did not look forward to the abundance of Nigerian dishes for the holidays.  Not because the food wasn’t good — in fact it was quite delicious.  We were used to eating traditional Nigerian food almost everyday out of the year and wanted something special–different, if you will — for the holidays.  As early as age 7 I began experimenting in the kitchen and have come to love creating an American style holiday menu for my siblings. Even my parents love to indulge! Foods such as turkey, cornbread stuffing, collard greens, mac & cheese, sweet potato casserole, banana pudding, and sweet potato pie would adorn the holiday table.

Finding ways to make the side dishes as healthy and nutritious as possible without sacrificing taste is always a fun challenge.

Social Aspect

I get a kick out of shopping for holiday cocktail dresses.  I generally make an appearance at my favorite retail store Banana Republic to see the lovely, colorful designs that are hot for the holidays.  There is nothing like putting on a new cocktail dress with a fresh mani-pedi and show-stopping heels in anticipation for a fun holiday gathering.  Seeing friends and colleagues dressed to impress, in good spirits, with good music in the background always makes me cheerful.  It is important to one’ health to unwind and celebrate the successes and challenges experienced during the year.  Which brings me to another reason why I love the winter holidays: self-reflection.

Self-Reflection

It seems only natural to take time to embark on a bit of self-reflection during the holidays.  Self-reflection is the desire and willingness to learn about one’s fundamental nature, purpose, and essence.   As we prepare for the new year, it is important to pinpoint the wins, losses, challenges, sorrows, and joy experienced in the old year.  By doing this, we can learn from it all and make improvements in the new year.  Self-reflection often leads one to setting New Year Resolutions.  Indeed, one good habit leads to another good habit and so on and so forth. I personally like to get a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns: one side, I list the good things that happened during the year.  It can be anything related to career, relationships, family, fitness, friends, etc.  On the other side, I write down the things I would love to see happen in the New Year.  By doing this, it allows me to appreciate all the positives and thankful moments I’ve experienced while also setting goals to achieve even greater success in the year to come.  It is a great way to reflect on the past while continuing to strive for success.

Happy Holidays!!

Why do you love the winter holidays?  Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.