What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? We all have them and they may just be more important than you think. Traditions like putting up the tree on the day after Thanksgiving, buying a special new ornament each year, or opening one gift on Christmas Eve are a special part of the holiday season. While we share many traditions, we also have unique twists on them. Maybe it’s making pizza on Christmas Eve. Maybe it’s having cookies and hot chocolate for breakfast Christmas morning, or heading to Waffle House after Midnight Mass.
No matter what traditions you have – traditional, or quirky, they are the glue that binds us together during the holidays. They help us share celebrations with our loved ones and our community. They give us a sense of belonging and help us mark important dates. Even more importantly, they help us make memories. Think back on your favorite Childhood memories of Christmas. Chances are that they are tied to Christmas traditions. Those traditions help us remember the meaningful events around them from one year to the next.
Another important aspect of traditions is that they are something we share with others. Creating and following through with traditions helps us strengthen and nurture relationships. That’s why it’s so important to blend and come up with new family traditions as you start your own family. You take the best traditions from each side, blend them, and then come up with a few of your own. You’re creating your very own set of family holiday traditions that will bind your family together. Of course, we also share traditions with the larger community like church service on Christmas Day, or the city holiday parade. They are events where we interact and meet others in our community. They make us feel part of the city, group, or church.
Take a minute to think about your own holiday traditions. What do you do each year? Is there something you have to do or have or it doesn’t feel like Christmas? Nourish those traditions and pass them on to your children. If you don’t have a lot of traditions yet, there’s no better time than the present to start them. And don’t stop at Christmas. Traditions can be shared throughout the year. Build a sand castle during summer vacation, make Thursday night, pizza night, or play board games on the first Sunday of the month with friends. Embrace traditions and see for yourself how they can enrich your life and your relationships.
As Christmas Day gets closer, I am pulling out my baking supplies. One cookie I make every year we call a “Snowball Cookie”. It is a simple shortbread cookie. You can download a copy here.