Holiday Traditions That Bring People Together (And Why It’s Not All About the Food)
The holiday season is upon us! And with it comes a flood of fond traditions to celebrate with the people we love.
At Associates in Family Medicine, we’ve noticed that most of our unique holiday traditions go deeper than what they might seem to be on the surface (and dare we say, aren’t just about the food). In fact, these customs and rituals that we revisit and refine year after year usually have one important thing in common. Whether it’s breaking out the fancy dinner dishes, hunting for hilariously awful white elephant gifts, partaking in local festivities, or hiking in search of the perfect tree, holiday traditions tend to bring us together – with family, friends, and our larger community.
Some holidays might be commemorated with remarkable amounts of eggnog, festive family gatherings, and the gleam of candles or lights. Still others might be marked by less customary customs, like a perfectly prepared Tofurky or an epic holiday dance-off. What makes all of these traditions worth repeating are the people we share them with.
So, whether you prefer a more conventional holiday rhythm or seasonal activities that break the mold, embrace the traditions that bring people together!
If you’re looking for a little holiday inspiration, take a look at how some of our AFM providers celebrate the season.
“We celebrate both Hanukah and Christmas at our house because I’m half Jewish and grew up with that same tradition. We have a Menorah and a Christmas tree. Some years they overlap and some years they don’t, as the Jewish calendar is separate. On Christmas Eve, we like to invite friends over for a feast that includes my “tofurky” made from scratch each year.”
“Each year, we venture out to cut down our own Christmas tree. This is through the U.S. Forest Service program with dedicated cutting areas throughout the Front Range. We always pack fun Christmas snacks and lots of hot chocolate. We usually bring the tree home and decorate it that night while listening to music from Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s great because it’s a special day for our family that includes some physical activity and quality time together as well as being a great kick off to the Christmas season. Our whole family looks forward to it each year.”
“Every year at Thanksgiving and again on Christmas Eve, we bundle up at night and hike up a mountain close to our house in the Black Hills, SD – talking and singing and breathing fresh cold air. At the top of the mountain is a cross which was built by our neighbors. At the foot of the cross, we rest, look up at the stars and thank God for the many blessings in our lives – sharing our hurts as well. It is a joyful, honest, rich time that I will forever cherish.”
“After Christmas Eve dinner, we gather as a family and spend time reading about the birth of Jesus from Luke chapter two. It helps us focus on the reason for the season. After reading from the Bible, we read The Christmas Story and then allow everyone to open one Christmas present (it’s always a new set of pajamas). We then put on our new jammies and spend time around the Christmas tree looking forward to the arrival of Santa.”