Holiday Traditions Mean So Much
Families gather. Tasty treats are plentiful. Games are played. Love and laughter are shared. At various points throughout the year, we join loved ones to celebrate holidays as well as personal events and achievements. Each gathering has its own specific routine. Meals are served at a certain time. Hosting is often a shared activity. Each of these holiday traditions means so much to every friend and family member. Yet not all have been passed down for generations. Some traditions are new!
When I was little, my parents brought our family many miles to land in New Jersey. Culture shock was very real! Having migrated from South America, the snowy winters and American holiday traditions were new to us. It took a little getting used to.
We had nothing. Truly and literally nothing. We arrived with precious little in our bank accounts, and my parents worked hard to make sure we kids were taken care of and happy. They really looked out for us, and even made sure that Santa brought gifts galore to this very homesick little 3-year-old girl. Those gifts were hand-me-downs that were enjoying a second chance at life. But to me, they were shiny and new. I bet you can’t guess what my favorite color was??? (Spoiler Alert! RED)
I will always be grateful to my parents for the love and care they showered upon us.
Over the summer I told you a little bit more about my life’s journey to one day become the attorney I am today. Remember that little game of “Advocate” I told you about? Playing debate games were incredible fun for me. And yes, my quest to become a lawyer actually did start at the tender age of three. I even told my Pediatrician of my career dream! (Can you say laser focused?) So, Santa and those amazing red toys started an incredible journey filled with new traditions that quickly came to mean so much to me.
Is it a tradition or a ritual?
I’ve read that, “Holiday traditions are essentially ritualistic behaviors that nurture us and our relationships.” They give us a sense of connection and community. Much like a morning cup of coffee, traditions can become ingrained in our DNA. Fond memories are often born from these annual celebrations.
True story… during one of our early winters in the Garden State, we came across sleds that were just sitting outside the library (I think!). It was as if they were available for anyone in the community to use, and ready to head down the next hill. And that’s exactly what we did. Here was this crazy, fun family gathering on the sleds and frolicking in the snow. We even took pictures with those sleds! That became one of those holiday traditions that I looked forward to. (I sure wish I still had a few of those crazy pictures to share!)
With each year I learned more about how my friends’ families celebrated the holidays. The holiday songs and yummy snacks helped me overcome that homesickness and learn to embrace and enjoy my new home.
FAST FORWARD >>>>
As we look towards the end of a fascinating year, I’m reminded again of the amazing journey that is my life. That move we made set me on the path towards realizing my dreams… even some I didn’t know I had! One year I met this wonderful guy, and we joined our lives and created two perfect sons. Together, we created our own meaningful holiday traditions. I look forward to the new ones we have yet to discover.
No matter which holidays you celebrate, and what your traditions may be… I hope this holiday season brings you peace and joy.