Never Forget About The Holiday Traditions
With the holidays so close there are a lot of traditions that people are doing. Things that they do every year around this time. So I thought why not talk about traditions, specifically Christmas traditions.
These can range from Christmas decorations to baking to the actual day itself, but first I think we should talk about what traditions are and why they are important.
What are traditions?
Traditions are things that you do at least once every year. It usually encompasses passing those reoccurring things to the next generation and then the next, etc. It is a custom or belief that you and your family do and continue to pass on.
These are special things that are usually unique to your family and/or friends. They can be anything, just something that is consistently done at least once per year. Usually, they have some sort of symbolic meaning and/ or special significance to the people that are doing the tradition.
Not to be confused with culture. Culture is a term used to describe certain beliefs, morals, laws, behaviors and customs within a society or community.
In summary, culture looks at the bigger picture, it’s like the whole puzzle. Whereas traditions are just a few of the pieces that make up that finished puzzle.
Why are traditions important?
Traditions are important in many ways. From significant meanings to healing a non-visible wound. They have different significance from person to person and may not even exist for some.
However, traditions are a big part of many peoples lives, especially at Christmas time. These certain habits can take many forms and act as many things for people. What I mean by this is that some things that are normal everyday things for one may be a special tradition for another.
Let’s get more in depth about how traditions are important.
As I quickly mentioned before, traditions are important for many reasons but mainly due to the significant meaning of them. Many traditions come with a sentimental value, usually because it’s a fond childhood memory or something that a beloved grandparent and/or parent used to do.
This is important because it gives us traditions to continue to pass on and for our next generations to look forward to. It also gives us something to look forward to within the year.
Improves Mental Health
Because it is something for us to look forward to and something for us to enjoy, it helps boost our mood. This in turn helps improve your mental health.
It also helps your mental health because these certain habits are usually something you do with loved ones. Meaning you are surrounding yourself with people you love and doing something you love together; this then increases your mood and therefore mental health.
These traditions help families stay close because they are something they do together. There are even family stories where they weren’t talking all year, but once it came to Christmas and their traditions they started talking again.
They also help keep the family bond strong every year, giving you much needed family time. Family is a powerful thing and having certain habits you do together make it special for all.
A year is a long time and can be hard on people, friends and family. Many of us have wounds that we hide from others and don’t let heal. But traditions, specifically Christmas traditions can help heal that hurt by getting back to normal; the things you enjoy and being with the people you love.
This type of habit can literally be anything! It is just something that happens every year, but doesn’t have to be a certain thing. They also aren’t just for Christmas, that is just when most traditions happen and come to light.
It is important to note that everyone has their own traditions in their life, and they will be different from other peoples. So it’s crucial that we don’t judge those traditions. Yes they may be different from yours, but that’s okay.
I say this because everyone is different, especially with culture, attitude and religion playing a big factor in these certain habits. So, again, it’s important not to judge others’ traditions. You may even have a chance to learn said traditions and actually really like them.
How Traditions Differ
Like talked about above traditions can be a variety of things, but why? Why do some people do the same sort of thing while others don’t? Why do holiday traditions differ so much from one house to the next?
Many traditions are based on someone’s culture and religion. The things that their society does as part of their culture. Like Hanukkah and Christmas, some celebrate either one and others celebrate both.
Also, the traditions within those holidays differ as well. Some people who celebrate Christmas may put an angel on top of the tree, and some may put a star. Again, depending on many other factors like religion for example.
Largely, traditions differ based on a person’s personality and their interests. What one might like, others may not like. Or things some find very special, others may not. That’s just how the world works.
That also goes for a family’s personality. A family as a whole can have a personality and that shows in their Christmas traditions. For example, a bigger family may have a kids table at dinner, whereas a smaller family may not.
Kind of mentioned above, families play a huge part in your holiday traditions, because they are usually the ones doing it with you. Maybe even passed it down to you. That being said, it really depends on the type of family, their interests and personalities.
A religious family may go to church on Christmas day, whereas a non-religious family may just stay at home in PJ’s all day. Everyone is different and so is their family, and how they were raised as well.
How To Start A Tradition
If you are reading this and are thinking that you don’t have any traditions, but would like to start one, you can!
Traditions are super easy to do and make. They are strictly for you and your family and friends, so you get to make it completely your own. You simply pick something that you love to do and make that a habit every year, until it becomes second nature.
Or you may even be doing it already and are now just realizing that it is a tradition. This specific type of habit is funny like that.
You can even make traditions that happen throughout the year. Maybe your cousins come to visit twice a year, so you make a tradition to go to a movie every time they come, for example.
Ideas of Traditions
Like I have talked about before, traditions come in all shapes and sizes. They can be at any time of year and be anything you can make a habit of at least once a year.
Most traditions fall around the holiday season, especially ones passed down from generation to generation. It just seems like a common thing for many.
Here are some ideas for holiday traditions:
- Putting an angel on the tree
- Having Christmas dinner on Christmas Day
- Doing a Chinese gift exchange with extended family
- Unwrapping stockings first
- Watching a certain Christmas movie
- Wrapping every Saturday before Christmas Day
- Going to a holiday light show every year
- Going on a carriage ride
- Cutting down your own Christmas tree
This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some ideas to get you started. Here is a list of even more ideas.
My Christmas Traditions
Now we have talked about all things traditions and even some pretty great ideas, here are some of my holiday traditions.
- Wrap gifts and watch White Christmas
- Listen to Pentatonix Christmas albums (at least once)
- Have an eggnog latte
- Wrap with my aunty, my mom and sister
- Do Christmas baking with the family
- Decorate sugar cookies
- Open new PJ’s on Christmas Eve
That’s holiday traditions, the things that are meaningful to us and only happen once a year. But don’t forget you can make your own traditions and not just at Christmas time.