Traditions are the nuts and bolts that hold families and communities together. Our family had many traditions growing up. The tradition of drawing a family name at Thanksgiving to see who will get re-gifted on Christmas morning. Granddad reading “Twas The Night Before Christmas” before a roaring fire with the children sitting cross-legged at his feet.

Some American Christmas Traditions

  • The most common Christmas tradition is the gift exchange with the family all gathered around then a dinner of roast turkey, goose, duck or ham along with cranberry sauce, followed by plum pudding or pumpkin pie or fruitcake.
  • Torrington, Connecticut and Wilmington, New York are two homes for Santa in the United States. Wilmington has constructed a village where Santa and his reindeer live.
  • Polish Americans go all out on Christmas Eve. Hay is spread on the floor around the dinner table as well as under the tablecloth as a representation of the stable and manger. Two additional places are set for Jesus and Mary. I guess Joseph gets to supervise the children’s table.
  • An Alaskan tradition consists of a star on a pole taken from door to door. Others depicted as Herod’s Men follow attempting to capture the star.
  • Each year the Christmas Tree Ship docks in Hawaii bringing Santa Claus and a large shipment of trees and toys to the islands.

Some Final Thoughts

There are literally thousands of Christmas traditions to write about but the most important one is the one we all have in common. Even though the 25th is not the according to Hoyle exact birth date of the baby Jesus it’s the message of the day not the date itself.

It’s the one time of year that we are a little more compassionate toward our fellow man. We forgive a little easier. We think a little more positively about the year ahead. We realize it’s better to give than to receive.

Unfortunately these feelings don’t last very long after Christmas. If I ever get that chance to rub a magic lamp and get those three wishes one of those would be for all of us to keep the meaning of Christmas in our hearts and in our actions the whole year round. That would be a great Christmas tradition to start.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

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