Holiday’s are a perfect time to revive past family experiences, celebrate life and share specific rituals and traditions that help to create a sense of community and shared life experience. Just like there are different engagement ring styles unique to any one couple, there is still the universal ritual of presenting an engagement ring that is associated with romance and love. This year, why not start some new traditions that can bring meaning and memories to your family for years to come?
- Share Family Recipes – Every family has its own special foods that either reminds them of their heritage or special cooks in the family. Mexicans, for instance, always make tamales around Christmas time and it is a family affair with everyone pitching in to create the holiday food. Christmas cookies are uniquely American and are a great source of fun when shared with the youngest in the house. Jewish people have a special meal to celebrate their holidays, with specific foods prepared to commemorate the special time.
- Pass Down Jewelry, Gifts and Heirlooms – The spirit of giving is predominant during the holidays. Whether it is making an extra batch of cookies to share with the neighbor or a gift of time to charities who are feeding the poor, the idea is to be thankful for what we have and share with others. The holidays are also a great time to pass on family heirlooms as gifts, knowing that a valued ring, necklace, or pin, is making its way down the family tree and becoming part of the family’s story.
- Create New Traditions – Sometimes families will create new traditions like going Christmas caroling when there is an abundance of musical talent within the group. A perfect gift for musicians that can also be a way to start a new tradition is to create a musical DVD with your favorite holiday songs and give them out as fun gifts. People who love to create crafts often pick this time to share their talents with their family and friends. It may seem humorous to receive Aunt Cathy’s fruit cake, yet again this year, but what would the holidays be like without her contribution? Traditions can be humorous or wacky, but ultimately they serve to bond friends and family together. Besides, there’s always someone that adores fruitcake who shows up for the holidays.
- Share the Love – Most of all holidays are a time to be thankful for family and friends and to express your love and appreciation for their presence in your lives. That is what most traditional religious rituals aim to do, to create a sense that we are supported by a caring community of people that we are a part of. It can be done in the simplest of traditions, like giving chocolate, or in a more complex tradition like the decorating of the Christmas tree. However you choose to celebrate the holiday season, find ways to express the love in your heart so that each tradition is more meaningful and heartfelt, creating a deep joy and sense of belonging for everyone.