Retooling Our Holiday Gatherings for More Meaning and Less Stress: Priya Parker

We’re back with another installment of our Untraditional Traditions series and continuing to celebrate the best of the season with different perspectives on how to change things up toward augmenting old traditions, creating new ones, or letting go of those that no longer serve us. Perhaps you’re thinking–how do I even begin to shift long held traditions—especially around holiday gatherings? Or maybe you’ve never been the “gather-er,” but you want to step your toe into those waters? We’ve got some fantastic practical guidance based on real life experience from our guest this week, on how we can get more from how we gather, and how to facilitate gatherings that bring life instead of stress. Priya Parker is a facilitator, a strategic advisor, an author and a life-long curious student. Priya believes everyone has the ability to gather well and gives us tangible tools to help us reimagine how we spend our time together and infuse it with creativity and meaning. Her best-selling book The Art of Gathering Well, is such a vital work when it comes to rethinking how we plan all our get togethers. Priya got her start in this field at a really young age as a kid when she straddled the two very different worlds of her parents, where she’d leave her mother and stepfather’s Indian, liberal, vegetarian, Buddhist, household and travel to her father and stepmothers’, white American, evangelical Christian, conservative, meat eating household. Priya believes that a gathering starts when you pause first to ask “why do I want to do this, what are the needs and who should be there?” She and Jen talk through some of the possible answers to these questions and how they help us make important shifts in approaching our holiday gatherings. Recognizing that rituals are powerful, they also look at when they are needed–and when they’ve outlived their usefulness or specialness, or even when the observation of them brings sadness or pain. As we all search for belonging and true connection in our holiday gatherings, Priya and Jen walk us through how we can lay the foundation for our own blended and newly-created traditions.