Holiday Traditions

Harry Potter - The Night Bus

For this Christmas holiday,  I vacationed in Florida with my family. We visited the ever-amazing Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and spent nearly every waking moment traveling between Hogsmead and Diagon Alley via the Hogwart’s express.  It was an awesome experience filled with magical moments of discovery.Diagon Alley - Gringot's Dragon


But in addition to time in the world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, we visited Disney’s World Showcase at Epcot Center. Talk about magical moments.

We strolled from Canada to the UK to France, Morocco… all around the world, taking in the sights, the sounds, the scents and flavors.

Disney's World Showcase at Epcot Center - Christmas in Germany While in each country, we learned about their holiday traditions. I was, at first, impressed by how familiar so many of those traditions were, and how many of them overlap and compliment one another. We’re all separated by borders but share so many ideas, ideals and passions.Disney World Showcase at Epcot Center - Christmas in France

Despite the similarities and the exciting differences, one country’s traditions stood out the most for me. It was unique (to me) and made me smile as I considered implementing them myself. It was in Japan.

One of their traditions involved the Daruma Doll. It is a small hollow “head” with blank white circles for eyes. The idea is to consider and plan your goals for the coming year and then to color in one of the doll’s eyes. The doll will sit on a shelf, untouched, until you have reached your goal or goals. At that time, you may color in the other eye.

Disney's World Showcase at Epcot Center - Daruma Dolls - Japan

I love that idea so much I bought tiny Daruma dolls for my family so we might each strive to reach our personal goals with this doll as a reminder to do so.

Another Japanese tradition associated with the coming of each new year, involved refreshing the home so you have a new start with the new year.

I doubt this means anything as extreme as remodeling, but rather a change of window treatments, new slipcovers, or, perhaps, a fresh coat of paint. I can see myself doing that. I can also see myself altering my furniture layout so my rooms feel new even though they are not.

Disney - Epcot Center - Spaceship EarthI don’t know about you, but I often find myself falling into a rut. When I came home from our holiday getaway, I noticed a drop in my energy and enthusiasm. While away, we were up at the crack of dawn and out well after midnight. Those couple of sleep hours were enough to propel us into each next day of adventure. While at home, if I tried to stay up that late and rise that early, I’d be dragging myself through the day and would be grouchy to boot.

Not that I intend to deprive myself of sleep every day, but the idea of a fresh start to the new year, with new draperies or shades, with new colors on the walls or even a simple rearrangement of furniture intrigues me. I can imagine wanting to spend time in this ‘new’ space and feeling good about the environment, because, I would assume, if I’ll be shifting stuff around then some of that ‘stuff’ will be left at the curb.

When it comes to living space, there is little I can do that’s more satisfying than purging. I think of how often I open my closet door, just to peak inside, after I’ve reorganized it. Admit it, you’ve done that, too. 😉

So, this year, for 2015, I will start a new tradition in my little home and freshen my space. Papers will get tossed, clothes we do not wear (or can no longer fit into) will be donated, the fridge will be cleaned, the cupboards stocked with healthy choices, the throw rugs and pillows replaced and the furniture shifted about. I will rediscover my home and be happy here. Maybe you’ll try this to? You just might find a way to bring adventure into your own home. Or do you already do something like this? What are some of your holiday traditions?The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogwarts

Akemashite Omedetō Gozaimasu – Happy New Year.

May 2015 bring smiles to your face, health to you and your loved ones, peace to your home, and fulfillment to your heart.



6 Responses to Holiday Traditions

  • Your trip sounds like a wonderful experience and the idea of the dolls intrigue me.
    Hmmm I wonder if that would work at my house or would we just have a bunch of one eyed dolls standing around. If that is the case, I guess I could make little eye patches for them or paint a curved line so they look like they’re winking.

    Have a fantastic, healthy, safe new year.

    • OMG, Donna. You made me laugh aloud. I imagine there would be a lot of patches or winking Daruma dolls in my house, too, though I would hope after seeing a couple of them on my shelves, I’d either make more or an effort to achieve my goals or create goals that are more within my reach (probably the latter). Thanks for coming by. I wish you a healthy and happy new year as well.

  • Ha, I’m with Donna. I would probably have a lot of dolls (for a lot of goals) with eye patches or wink lines. But I am in the middle of cleaning out a house after a family loss and it’s really made me rethink what’s important to keep, and what’s in need of refreshing. Having so much extra stuff can be distracting and stifling, so I’m with you on moving things around, changing some colors, and dashing out the unused.
    Your trip sounds like it was amazing and eye-opening. Hoping you have a wonderful new year, too.

    • I hear you. When I had to help clear out a home, I felt the same way – no excess or junk in MY home. Ha. That lasted all of one week, if that. If I have a new year resolution, it is to start tossing “stuff” so my life and my living space are less cluttered. It’s true that a cluttered space is a cluttered mind. At this moment, my family’s holiday trip has given me the gumption to start a regular routine of decluttering. I have been taking 15 minutes each morning and night to tidy things but less clutter would make that time even more productive. Hey. That might even leave more time for writing. What a novel idea. 🙂

      Thanks for coming by. May your new year be free of clutter in all its forms. 😎

  • Hi Deb, Happy New Year. Sounds like an awesome vacation. I love Epcot and hope the next time we ever go to Disney my kids’ll appreciate it a bit more since they’re all about the castle than the countries.
    I love purging to kick off the new year. Its like a new years nervous breakdown where I can’t take all the old and new stuff crammed in our small space. Clutter makes me cranky. Purging is like nesting for baby new year. We did rearrange the furniture after taking down the tree this year. So far everyone is comfy with the change, especially Big Daddy-O who doesn’t like change as much as the kids and me. Now you have me eyeballing stuff within arm’s reach to toss asap. When the kids go back to school Monday I can get down and dirty with some black bags ; )

    • Yes! Exactly – a new year nervous breakdown. Purging is the only way to cure it. I’ve been doing 15-minute tidies each morning and evening and that’s been helping to keep the clutter to a minimum. Still, there are ‘things’ that need to go. I’m going to rearrange the furniture as you did. Once the tree is down (probably mid-week).

      How cool that even Big Daddy-O (LOL) is happy with the change! Very cool. I think having those black bags handy just might help free the muse, too, you know. 😆

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