The smell of hot cocoa and fresh pine fills the air, mixed with the sound of laughing children and ringing bells. Christmas signifies a time of cheer, goodwill, and all around joy. During the holidays, many people celebrate by utilizing religious or non-religious traditions. Traditions are described as “a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on.” Despite the formal phrasing, a tradition can be just about anything such as watching a movie marathon with your family, hosting a casual get-together with all your friends, or spending some downtime with a significant other. Traditions can start with anything at any time. Christmas time (and the holiday season in general) is the perfect time to partake in traditions. There are plenty of benefits to starting traditions. Traditions are a way to bring everyone together for some joy, even if times are hard. Traditions have a way of brightening up the season and cultivate anticipation.
Christmas time is a season celebrating giving and good deeds, which directly ties into my Christmas tradition. Each year, my family and I bake. We bake everything from cookies from a store-bought package to my grandmother’s secret pumpkin bread cake that has been in my family for over three generations. We often find ourselves with an excess of goods baked and no reason to eat them all ourselves. Therefore, we collect the assorted baked goods, divvy them up into artfully crafted baskets, and hand-deliver them to the people we care about. My younger sisters and I often go door to door around the neighborhood and present these gift baskets to our neighbors- to the ones we know and the ones we don’t. The most priceless part is seeing the expression of astonishment that morphs into graciousness and joy.
There are two pieces of advise that I have regarding traditions:
-Celebrate to the fullest. I say you should embrace the traditions that you already have, especially if there is one you enjoy. Renew your love of these traditions by bringing others into the fold or adding a new twist to it. Traditions can evolve, and that is sometimes for the better.
-Make some holiday traditions of your own. If you don’t have traditions with your family or don’t connect with any that exist, don’t be afraid to make your own. Some ideas can include movie marathons, baking, ice skating, caroling, among other festive activities for the season. When you make these traditions, you choose who you want to share these with and enjoy life the way that makes you happiest.
As the famous Christmas song describes, the holiday season is the “most wonderful time of the year.” This is a time for family- blood or chosen- to come together and celebrate. So, why not spruce the season up with some special, heartfelt traditions of your own?
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