The holiday season brings people together and it’s a great chance to spend time with friends and family. This time of year is rich with tradition and nearly every family has certain things they do to celebrate. But what exactly is a tradition, and what is the reason behind them?
Tradition is defined as “the handing down of customs or beliefs from generation to generation” Essentially, traditions are the things we do because we’ve always done them that way. For example, when we eat certain foods at Christmas dinner, or decorate the tree with special ornaments.
Why do we need traditions?
Traditions can serve as a way to organize and centre us during a hectic time of year. In other words, these familiar actions provide a sense of calm and peace to our busy lives. Traditions also give us our identity; they tell the story of where we came from and connect us to previous generations. They also bond us together and make us feel like we’re part of something special, and give us much needed comfort during difficult times.
Our traditions have a lot of emotion attached to them, which is why we sometimes have a hard time letting go. It’s normal for traditions to change over time as families change. We create new traditions as we grow from young children to young adults and again when we have families of our own. These traditions continue to grow and change as our kids move out of the house, get married, and have kids of their own. It’s these new ways of celebrating that make it easier to let go of beloved older traditions.
Create new traditions
New traditions are just as important as long held ones. As we add new traditions into our lives, it gives us new and exciting ways to celebrate with our friends and family. When you embrace the changes, you’ll find that your new traditions can be just as fun!
New traditions don’t have to be big–the little things keep us connected too. For example, exchanging a small gift with a new friend, watching a favourite holiday movie with loved ones, or enjoying a special treat on Christmas Eve, are all great examples of small activities that can become cherished traditions every year.
At Bria Communities, we’ve created our own traditions to share with our residents. These new traditions make the holidays fun for everyone and make it easier for residents to adjust to changes in how they celebrate the holidays. While they may let go of old traditions, such as cooking a family dinner all by themselves, they get to add new traditions that will create cherished memories.
Sue Wilson, Director of Care, shares one of the beloved holiday traditions at Magnolia Gardens. “Every year, I post a list of residents’ names in the staff room, and the staff selects one or two names that they will buy gifts for. They wrap them and bring them in, to be given to the residents around the Christmas tree. The morning starts with Christmas stories around the tree, with snacks and hot chocolate, then we all gather to deliver the gifts to the residents and help them to open them as needed.”
At The Waterford, there are many holiday traditions for residents and their families. Says Lara Fares, Director of Care, “We have our annual resident and family dinner. This year we served a special dinner to 92 people including our residents, their friends and family. We also had our 2nd annual Santa and kids event, where each child received a gift from Santa. We also have evening bus tours to view holiday lights and have a children’s choir to come sing for the residents and their families.”
This season, take the time to enjoy old traditions and create some new ones, too. It’s a great way to bring some warmth and comfort to you and the important people in your life. Happy holidays!