One mental health comment, then on to the gaming piece. I think that we so often get caught up in wanting to re-arrive at an old feeling. What I mean by this is, that we chase so hard the feelings associated with the last time we do something, we miss the point of the experience itself and so lose the magic. The best times in our lives are experienced when we are fully present and fully in the moment. So you might ask then, why the focus on rituals and traditions, if the joy comes from being in something real and current. The truth is that there is something to ritualistic behavior that is comforting. It has to do, I think, with still being focused on the activity, rather than trying to recapture a feeling. Even the ritual of sitting around the dinner table with your family every night is something that is comforting, and something that I try to bring to the individuals I serve. We've come upon a time full of opportunity for rituals and traditions, whether they are old or just beginning.
Holiday gaming is one of my favorite experiences. I Tweeted about it over the Thanksgiving holiday. I love the opportunity to be away from my work for a little bit (I am very seldom away from all of my projects even for a little bit, but I try to do that during holidays) and just focusing in on the things I enjoy. I got in a good bit of single player gaming, and I love making sure to schedule in multiplayer gaming with my buddies (we became friends through gaming, by the way). It's very refreshing. Being that all of my friends are enjoying the same sort of patterns (rituals and traditions do that) we are more likely to be able to spend time with one another. Being close to the people you care about is another big part of the holidays. Really we should enjoy these luxuries all the time, but the holidays and particularly the Christmas season are a good reason to breath life into spending time with the things we love. As was said in my favorite holiday film, The Muppet Christmas Carol, it is "The Summer of the Soul in December."
Take some time and comment about your favorite holiday activities in my comments. Certainly Tweet at me about them too. Especially (but not limited to) your geeky and gaming related holiday experiences. I'll have pictures of my Geek themed Christmas tree up shortly.