The winter holidays are finally upon us. All around the world, people are beginning celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day and many others.
Growing up, my favorite part of the holidays was always watching Christmas movies. I loved watching people celebrate holiday traditions, even the most simple ones like decorating the Christmas tree together, attending tree lighting festivals or sending out family Christmas cards.
My family never celebrated Christmas in the traditional way. Every year was different, switching between visiting family in Mexico, attending holiday parties and staying home watching movies together. While I enjoyed doing most of these, I was always jealous of families that had classic holiday traditions. I wanted the Christmas stockings above the fireplace, the hanging of an annual ornament and the advent calendars. Some years we didn’t even have a Christmas tree!
Because I was never able to enjoy these things, I had to start my own traditions. These are some of my favorite holiday traditions that anybody can incorporate into their Christmas plans.
A simple tradition anyone can start is writing holiday cards. Especially when you have family living many miles away, it can be heartwarming to receive personal handwritten cards. If you’re tight on money, then writing personal cards to friends can be equally rewarding.
Another tradition option is to plan a sleepover with your college friends before you go home to celebrate the holidays. This can be a night filled with baking homemade treats and watching Christmas movies while drinking hot cocoa. You can even coordinate so that you’re wearing matching pajamas.
If you’re in a relationship, try partaking in the 12 Dates of Christmas, which was inspired by a blog called Rockstar Diaries. Another blog that offers good tips on this tradition is Josa’s Hobby Lobby. This couples tradition is great if you want to have a month filled with fun holiday dates. These dates can be as simple as baking together or as adventurous as ice skating. Even if you aren’t in a romantic relationship, you can plan dates with your friends or even close family members.
If you’re someone who likes traveling, make it a tradition to visit someplace new every year for the holidays. It doesn’t even have to be far or for too long. Along the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina are a variety of towns that are great for any weekend getaway, such as Boone, Hot Springs, Mars Hill and many more.
If you like the thrill of breaking from tradition, find out how other people celebrate in December. Greensboro offers many festivals and activities, such as the annual seven-day Greensboro Kwanzaa Collective and the Greensboro Holiday Parade. If you have friends with different holiday traditions, don’t be afraid to ask about them or join in.
Whether you continues to celebrate holiday traditions, start new ones or break from old ones, don’t forget to do what makes you happy and surround yourself with people you love. There is no such thing as a perfect holiday so don’t have unreasonable expectations. The most important thing for the holiday season is to reflect on the true meaning of family and get into the spirit of giving.