When I think of the word tradition, all I can think of are the actors from this year’s production of Fiddler on the Roof screaming “TRADITION! Tradition.” The honest truth is that I’ve never been a stickler for tradition but I do make one very big exception during the holiday season.After all, what more is a tradition than something to look forward to, year after year, Christmas after Christmas!
Of course Christmas traditions vary the world round. While in some countries, knowing that each family is celebrating the same way is a tradition in itself, the beauty of Christmas in Canada lies in the understanding that each person has a unique way to ring in the holiday season. Moving away from its religious roots (to what is, I’m sure, the chagrin of church goers everywhere), these traditions are based primarily on memorable moments passed on from generation to generation and celebrated with friends, or family… or both!
Needless to say, going to church remains of the most celebrated traditions of the holiday season; from the Christmas greetings exchanged with a smile, to the singing of Christmas hymns, church going can be a peaceful and joyous experience even for those of us who don’t practice. For many who don’t share in the Christian faith however, Christmas has become not only a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, but a time to revere in the warmth and charity of mankind.In fact, one of the most touching traditions trending in recent years is the putting aside of time during the days leading up to Christmas to volunteer as a family at a food bank, or hand out food to those in need. Other families have taken to
As a new parent, thinking ahead to what kind of Christmases I want to share with my growing family, I can’t help but think what an incredible example traditions like this are during what many consider a holiday characterized by greed and overindulgence. That being said, I’m not going to put a charitable donation in my daughter’s name during the years where Santa is supposed to be climbing down the chimney and scattering gifts around the tree. So, I guess the best any parent can do is to try and strike a balance of sorts. Christmas doesn’t need to be all about the presents, but assuming you don’t shower your kids with gifts on a regular basis, giving them a present or two come Christmas won’t turn them into spoiled brats or bestow upon them a sense of entitlement that wasn’t already planted. In fact, showing gratitude around a dinner shared with loved ones is one of the best ways to teach your kids just how lucky they truly are, the whole year round.
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