Christmas has different meanings for different people and it can be celebrated in a variety of ways. One of my favorite parts about the holidays though, are the traditions. There’s something about repeating an activity, an event, or a behavior that creates meaning and nostalgia. And many times traditions don’t happen intentionally, they just begin to happen, and year after year you repeat them until it becomes something that is expected and anticipated.
Growing up, Christmas was all about traditions. As a family we gathered around the piano every Christmas Eve and sang carols. We even had to sing solos at the request of my dad! And no, not everyone in my family could sing well. I also have strong memories of me and my dad putting Christmas lights on the house. The tradition formed when every year lights wouldn’t work and he would say his version of the F-word: oh foot! At my grandparents the grandkids (and now great-grandkids) always act out the Christmas story. Attempting to get kids to be sweet angels, shepherds, and donkeys is a highlight for us all!
I think traditions are less about the activity and more about what it represents. Sharing that moment with someone, how it makes you feel, and the memories it creates. Traditions are important and you probably won’t grasp how much they impact you until later in life. Even though my dad passed away twelve years ago, I think about each of those traditions every year and it makes Christmas so meaningful.
The holidays are a great time to either start or continue a tradition. Whether it’s only you, or you share it with others, I encourage you to keep the tradition alive. You’ll be so glad you did.