The holiday season frequently has people reflecting on and discussing what their family does uniquely, or times that are special to them. Many of these things result from tradition. Traditions are generally thought of as customs or beliefs that are handed down from one generation to the next. Holiday traditions would therefore typically be something which is done to honor or respect customs from your family in the past, or something instituted and repeated each holiday season over a long period of time.

These could be eccentric things, like everyone taking a trip somewhere they have never been during a particular week each year, or simple things like all the cousins of a generation taking out one day from their busy lives and going to grandma’s house to decorate cookies. They could include volunteering for a special cause dear to your heart, or hold specific importance within your family history or spiritual beliefs.

Many people may come from families where they have no specific traditions and then as adults they have the opportunity to create their own traditions. If we look at the reasons traditions are built, it usually boils down to respecting and honoring the past and/or evoking emotions: excitement, closeness or togetherness, thoughtfulness and thankfulness, etc.

So whether you are lighting a candle for past generations or hanging a new ornament on your tree, think about what those traditions, old and new, mean to you and your family.

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