One trick to creating your own “new family” holiday memories is to revisit was was special and wonderful in your own holiday history. Even the most horrible childhoods had some great memories, even if sadly they they were at someone else’s house! The fact is you’ll do better building new memories if you start from realizing what was the sweet thing at the heart of your memory. I recently heard a woman tell the story of how her parents made a big red ribbon line that she followed around the house until she discovered her present… a great big cuddly bear. She got the bear when she was 4 and has him still. Part of what made that particular bear a great gift was the build-up… (Hint: build up costs nothing and requires simply a little inventiveness and a bit of humor.) The bear represented companionship. If you discover the heart of the memories, then the plans you make can grow out of the positive things: Rather than, let’s not spend any money on gifts because we don’t have any: Let’s not spend money on gifts because what we want are gifts from the heart. And we’ll give gift money to someone else. Or, it may be that this is the year to give one another sparkly shiny things because your love is sparkly and shiny. But whatever it is, spend some time remembering and sharing what was best for you about the holidays. Tip: Create the holidays you want to have not the holiday everyone thinks you should have. And base your plans on what was wonderful for you when you were a child.