I remember the excitement of getting a new dress and shiny shoes for Rosh Hashanah as a young girl. My mother or grandmother would take me to the local department store, I would try on three or four dresses, until I had the perfect one, and then we’d go to the shoe store. The man at the shoe store was very diligent about finding the perfect fit. For a few hours each year, I was a princess—the subject of my mother, grandmother and shoe fitter’s attention. I loved it! The High Holidays were one of the highlights of my year.
And then I grew up. I couldn’t always afford a new dress for the High Holidays, shoes became a luxury, and only made sense if I could wear them to work as well, and any way—would it really matter to anyone other than me whether or not I had a new dress? Sadly, my excitement about the High Holidays began to wane. Was this a result of my not prioritizing a new dress or of just growing up and realizing that the world is larger than princess dreams?
Some of the things I have learned to cherish over the past few years include prioritizing myself, while finding time and space for spirituality. Taking some time out to nurture my soul has become very important to me—I meditate, attend services amidst my caring community, and walk by the ocean. Every now and then I buy myself something pretty, something that makes me feel good, and perhaps reawakens the princess deep within me.
This year I intend to merge both my need for spirituality and taking care of myself by purchasing a new dress and shoes for the High Holidays. When I wear them to services and later to dinner with my close family and friends, I will feel confident in my new clothes—carrying forward a tradition that brought me happiness in my childhood, starting the New Year wearing new clothes and feeling somewhat new myself, and modeling the need for taking care of oneself, spiritually, mentally and materialistically.
Here is a list of some fun things to do with your kids, or even just for yourself. Take the time… you deserve it.
Book a Princess Day at a Local Beauty College: This is a great way to get a “fancy” up do or mani/pedi for a special occasion at a fraction of the cost. You can even book small groups at a time (for your daughter(s) and their friends).
Get Crafty: Art not only soothes the soul, it also spreads joy wherever it is shared. Many local craft stores offer free classes for kids and parents. You can make some very cool High Holiday inspired gifts to pass around (senior centers and local hospitals are a great place to start).
Donate Your Old Clothes: Feeling a little guilty about buying a new dress for the holidays? Well there are plenty of great organizations out there that will accept your gently worn clothes. Why not give that “old” dress a new life and put a smile on someone’s face at the same time?