Holiday traditions allow us to measure our lives in special ways. They present us with specific moments to help gauge where we are in life, and what we’re doing with our loved ones. Blogger Jenna Francisco gives us a look at what tradition means to her, whether it’s the kind we’ve done for years or altogether brand new.
Every year as the holiday season approaches, we’re faced with the question of our own traditions. Do we stay home, or do we travel? Do we celebrate with family, or do we forfeit the holidays and venture off somewhere away from the hubbub? While there are many ways people can create their own holiday routines – either at home or away – I’m a firm believer in the importance of tradition and family at this time of year.
Tradition grounds us. No matter what happens during the year, whether it’s a chaotic mix of unpredictable events or a series of forgettable days in our routine, the holiday season allows us to slow down and do what we have done before. The familiar is comforting. Whatever your holiday traditions involve – tree trimming, hot chocolate and cookies, carols, handmade gifts – simple pleasures from our past help create new memories for the young members of our families.
And traditions link us with our loved ones. Through holiday customs, we do what has been done before in the ways we’ve learned through our family. We honour those who have come before us by continuing traditions that were important to previous generations. The cookies my grandmother and mother made; the holiday dishes that are made a bit differently in my family than in yours; the favourite holiday songs I’ve heard year after year – they connect me with my family, both past and present.
The holiday season is also a time to reflect on the nature of giving. When we receive gifts, we think about what we have, and we realize our good fortune. This creates an opportunity to become aware of the differences in our world and reflect on how we can help. The holidays encourage our hearts to open to the many ways of giving, from donating our time or money to educating ourselves about the world through travel.
People from many parts of the world celebrate holiday traditions with great enthusiasm. Whether Christmas in Brazil, Eid al-Fitr in Jordan, or Lunar New Year in Vietnam, serious preparations can be expected when it comes to the holiday feast, decorations, gift giving, and other customs that revolve around this special day. These traditions help create the uniqueness of each culture. The good news is that if the holiday season leaves you feeling stressed, today’s modern world allows us to create new holiday traditions. From scaling back gifts to seeking out quieter holiday celebrations, there are many ways to adapt traditions to fit what works for you and your family. Traditions are meant to be kept, but they never stay exactly the same.
For these reasons, I believe the holiday season should be cherished whether you choose to celebrate at home or while travelling. Tradition is powerful; it keeps us connected to our past and strengthens bonds among family.
We couldn’t agree with Jenna more; tradition is important. If yours include travelling as a family, or you’re looking to establish new ones that involve all of you journeying to the greatest places on Earth, we can help. G Adventures has loads of adventures for the entire family to experience together. Make 2015 the year that counts for everyone you love. Happy Holidays from all of us!