Between the change in family structure and my career search, this is certainly the year to create new holiday traditions. With each holiday, I decide where to celebrate, how, and with whom. Since my schedule is flexible, I can choose to go away and be with friends or family. I can combine the trip with exploring career possibilities in that place. Or I can stay home and celebrate with new friends, old friends, or host a group.

For a recent holiday event, I chose to stay home and celebrate with a group of young new friends. They were sweet and lively. The children were adorable. And the food – well, of course, it was fantastic. What a treat!

While it’s all exciting to experiment, there is some sadness as well. I’m experimenting because my situation has radically changed in the last several months. There are times I simply don’t want to stay at home for a holiday because I’m reminded that I’m alone.

I’m trying to look at the positive side: the changes have opened new doors. Do I choose the “Celebrate with Neighbors Door?” What about the “Host at Home Door?” Or maybe I walk through the “Travel Door.”

The good news? I get to choose in the moment, which door to walk through for each event.