Changes in Holiday Traditions

By: Caroline Larson

The months passing are rich in holiday traditions from left to right. No two households are spending Christmas the same way, while everyone unravels what is tucked underneath the wrapping paper. Yet, traditions do not last, whisking away in the years that pass. Families keep some holiday traditions, while others just seem to fade away as time goes by. Many families will spend different holiday traditions in their own unique way, whether old or new.

The years are changing the way people spend their holidays. Some keep the classics, having the generations of decorations passed down to them. Mrs. Larson, a tutor at EES, comments on her view of these changes by saying, “I think the holidays are becoming more commercial. It’s less focused on the religious part of it. It is all focused on giving gifts. It’s not even about being together. Everything is focused on what you should buy or what you should spend. The main word would be commercial.” It seems like everyone should take a step back and look at the real meaning of the holidays.

With technology being the biggest change in recent years to holiday shopping, it seems as though fewer people are going out and about to get that perfect gift. Inflation has caused many people to stay indoors and used their computers to shop for the best deals for holiday gifts. Mrs. Larson stated that it all depends on the family and what they buy for Christmas. No matter how big or small the present is, it has to be appreciated in a certain way. On the other hand, Mr. Vanatta states that it’s the economy that refluxes on the prices of the gifts. With the bigger gifts, kids receive less presents than when adults were younger, but those fewer presents cost more money. Depending on what you live upon and what standards your parents have, your gifts are always going to fluctuate. Also, with every given year and what comes out new, being a game or articles of clothing, the amount of gifts are going to change.

Everyone has lived through his or her different traditions growing up. Not everyone has spent Christmas the same way and they definitely do not have the same traditions. Many people stick with the classics, while others try to bring in the modern traditions to their holiday spirits. Keeping the holiday traditions and passing them on is something that parents usually do with their children. Some spend holidays by taking their traditions from their younger years and passing them on to different generations. Mrs. Larson commented on her younger traditions saying, “As you know, being from Quebec City, Canada, our tradition is to celebrate Christmas at midnight. We go to church, have a little snack, then open the gifts … we love being together, taking the time to open the gifts. It’s not a rush, it might take two to three hours, but it doesn’t matter, and we love to stay together, play games, and have a nice dinner the day of Christmas.”  Everyone has different traditions that follow to make the holidays come to life.

As the holidays go by, some people tend to stick to what everyone is doing that Christmas. Modern Christmas traditions, like making ugly Christmas sweaters and printing out Polaroids, makes the season fit with society. With social media so prevalent, some even base their new traditions on what celebrities or society are doing to celebrate the holidays.

Seeing Santa Clause at the local mall and putting up Christmas decorations outside your house are all Christmas traditions that have stuck from the past to now. Even with the changes, everyone seems to enjoy classics that come around. These are traditions that stick and will likely continue as the years go on. Mr. Vanatta comments on the holiday traditions that remained through the years by saying, “It still seems that a lot of people still do the exchanging of gifts, like the secret Santa type deal. That was around back when I was younger.” Even though many traditions seem to be fading away, a lot of them continue as the years go by.

Carrying on holiday traditions brings families together. Not only do they remain and continue on each generation, but they make the holidays shine. The best times during the holidays are when families gather together to cherish memories. Mrs. Larson talks about valuing her family’s holiday traditions by saying, “Teaching the Canadian tradition to my kids, I always enforced the family factor to the kids, allowing them to know that gifts aren’t the biggest part of Christmas.”

Christmas is a longstanding tradition that is constantly evolving. Families should value what traditions they keep alive, whether it be small or immense. Bringing in modern traditions could also make the older traditions come to life. As the years grow on, the traditions will change, so adapting to the holiday traditions will expand to different households.


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