What Is A Christmas Tradition?
In it’s simplest form, a tradition is something we do, either individually or collectively in a group, each and every year around or on a specific date or time.
And, because of this, we call it a “tradition”, because it’s something we, and everyone who knows us, knows we do. Year in and year out. Without fail.
Of course, in this instance, we’re talking about Christmas as that specific time or date when we do these things. Hence the term “Christmas Tradition”.
Some people may give presents to one another. Others may take gift giving to a whole new level and only give gifts to those that are poverty stricken. Still, others may not give any store-bought gifts and have gift qualifications of those that are only “hand-made” by their loved ones.
Every single family has their own rich, historic, family traditions that go back generations. And others make up their own for a new generation to enjoy.
All traditions whether new or old, are practiced greatly upon what each individual family, or person, feels should, or likes, to be done.
Traditions can be simple, or they can be complicated. Say, for instance, that every year, you and your family decides that there should be one new Christmas tree decoration purchased to mark that year. To preserve that moment in time when your family was together and things were at their best.
In other cases, it can be a bit more complicated. Almost like a ceremony if you will. Take this example:
One family may have lost a dear loved one 2 days before Christmas, or maybe even on Christmas, so every year, before doing anything else, they drive out to visit the cemetery where their dearly departed has been placed. They purchase new flowers, or a grave blanket and place it on the grave, paying their respects.
Maybe they have a family prayer or simply have a conversation with their loved one letting them know all the things that have happened throughout the course of the year.
Then, maybe they light a candle. After this is over, they leave the cemetery and return to another relatives home for a wonderful Christmas gathering to further celebrate the life of their loved one and also the birth of Jesus Christ.
Or, maybe a person who doesn’t regularly attend Church, or hasn’t done so for years, goes to Church only on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Morning.
The point is, a tradition is something that people do every year at the same time, no matter what that “something” is. In this case, we’re speaking of a Christmas tradition, which is something you specifically do around Christmas time.
This would be where things such as decorating the Christmas Tree, hanging stockings up, wrapping presents, visiting family and friends you don’t normally see throughout the rest of the year, going sledding with your children, going to school plays or pageants, going Christmas caroling, collecting donations for local charitable organizations, making cookies or home-made candies, drinking egg nog, and so on come in to the picture.
Obviously, some things we do are steeped more in history than others. But, every tradition has a history, whether it’s a new tradition or one that has been passed on from generation to generation. That’s the important part about Christmas traditions.
It’s not really the act of doing them that makes them an integral part of our lives. It’s how doing them makes us feel inside, and outside really.
Now, you may be sitting there wondering, “Why do I put up that Christmas tree every year?” It does seem silly to cut down a tree and bring it indoors. But, there’s a rich history behind this tradition. As well as several others that people all over America par-take in every year.
And, in the next chapter, we’re going to learn all about the history of some more well known and followed Christmas Traditions.
The History of the American Christmas And Its Traditions
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