Understanding Why Christmas Traditions Are Important
Many of us look forward to the Christmas traditions instead of the actual holiday. Why is that?
Over the years, we’ve grown accustomed to all kinds of traditions that are meant to make spending the holidays more meaningful and worthwhile. Whether they have been passed down to us by family or we managed to make our own, traditions are a way of life, and it’s more about connecting with others and building healthy relationships.
Christmas might be a good excuse for everyone to be merry and joyful, but at the end of the day, it’s the traditions that bring us all together. And they are always done best when with friends, family, and loved ones.
Other than that, there are a few other reasons why Christmas traditions are important not just for the holiday season, but in general.
It gives people something to look forward to.
Burnout from work? Haven’t taken a vacation in a while? It’s usually during the Christmas season that some people can finally take a break for the first time in the whole year. Whether it’s meeting deadlines or completing school projects, the only other reason why Christmas is the perfect time to take a break is because of the festivities that come with it.
Sure, many of us would want to spend a weekend at a secluded beach, sipping on piña coladas while watching the sunset. But the reality is that some activities are more fun when we get to do them together with the special people in our lives.
And the thing about traditions is that because they’re traditions, we already know what to expect, and when done yearly, it basically becomes something that we look forward to.
Some people don’t have the privilege of seeing their loved ones throughout the year, maybe because of their office location or workload. Some might still be in school and head out to the cities to get their degrees, leaving behind their family in the provinces. Whatever the reason, they are faced with the reality that the only time they might get to be with their loved ones again is during the holidays, as most schools and companies generally go on a Christmas break - either for a few days or a full week.
And when you’ve been drowning in schoolwork or office tasks, you want nothing more than to be in the comforting presence of the people you love most.
Looking back and planning ahead.
With Christmas being close to the year’s end, it practically allows us to look back and reflect on the things that happened in the past months. This is when most people will start working on their New Year’s Resolution, making a promise to do better or achieve more in the year to come.
It’s not cliché to want to take part in this tradition, either. Whether one likes to admit it or not, there’s a feeling of catharsis when you get to tell yourself that you can and will do better. It’s part of growing up, no matter how old we are.
Plus, it’s healthy to reflect on our actions every now and then. We determine our strengths and weaknesses and make changes accordingly. We create goals that we want to achieve and raise the standards of the life we want to live. None of that is selfish. It’s for our own well-being.
The sense of belongingness.
Part of the whole reason why we have and celebrate traditions is that there’s familiarity, comfort, and of course, a sense of belongingness. It makes us feel that we’re part of something.
Classic Christmas songs start to play on the radio, people start shopping for gifts, the smell of turkey ham lingers - everyone’s up on their feet doing something that will contribute to the occasion. And that’s exactly why traditions are important. You’re part of something, and you also get to add to it.
What’s great is that we don’t need to practice the same old Christmas traditions every year. You can always blend them with newer traditions. That way, the newer generation can also feel that they were able to contribute to whatever traditions have been passed on to them from their parents or great-grandparents.
Most of all, the sense of belonging we feel while taking part in Christmas traditions gives us an identity - something that we’re proud of and happy to share.
We love to love.
We never get tired of giving and receiving love. It’s human nature to want to feel these things. Can you imagine? You’re happy when you get to show your love and affection for someone, and you’re happy when someone shows their love and affection for you. It’s a cycle, one that will never die out.
Even with the grandest or simplest of Christmas traditions, one thing to keep in mind is that no matter how we do it or who we do it for, these are things that we do out of love. It’s what binds us together. Without it, there isn’t much sense in taking part in any kind of tradition.
Ultimately, the whole reason why Christmas traditions exist is that they make us happy and feel loved. In return, we want to do the same for others. We spread love and joy, and once the new year comes, we feel new. Enlightened, even. It’s like we went through some sort of intervention where we are reminded of why we were put on this earth in the first place, or why we have family, or why we have love.
There are people who say they’ve seen the worst of love and never want to go through it again. They say that the pain was too great, that the suffering just took too long for them to heal. Then one day, a single person arrives in their life, and after a few confrontations with their beliefs in love or the lack of it, the next thing they know, they’re in love again. And they’re happy. Life isn’t meaningless anymore.
So while one might argue that love is a choice or that it’s something that just happens, we can’t deny that life isn’t worth living without it.
Some of us might be indifferent to the idea that people only go out of their way to give and receive love at the end of the year, particularly when Christmas time comes. But even so, it’s one good reason for us to embrace our Christmas traditions and keep them alive.
The best thing about it is that even if we don’t have our own traditions to celebrate or take part in, it’s never difficult to be part of someone else’s. That’s the beauty of Christmas and the joy that it brings.