Holiday traditions

A look at various great holiday traditions, and how your LM peers are enjoying them.

The holidays are filled with fun where you can spend time with family and friends. This time of year also brings out some of the best annual traditions that people will take part in. This can mean going to a family-member’s house for Hanukkah or Christmas, or going to a New Years Eve party. There are also several traditions surrounding food and dining that you can look forward to all year round. Shopping is also a very common task this month and some people have traditions surrounding it. The thing that makes traditions so great is how different they are from family to family. This year we can take time to focus on them, as we likely had to take a year off due to the pandemic. 

One of the best traditions surrounding the holidays is seeing family over the break. Whether you are traveling or staying put, it is always nice to see people that you don’t usually see. Crosby Johnson ’24 loves spending time with his family in Philadelphia, “I love the holiday season as it is a great time to reflect on the year you have had and look forward to a clean slate. Every year, my family makes a trip down to Christmas Village to take in the holiday spirit and do some shopping.” Time with family is something we should cherish and the holidays make us realize that. 

Another great tradition is shopping. Whether it is picking out gifts for other people, or using a gift card that you got over the holiday, shopping is a fun way to enjoy the holiday season. The malls are always packed with people getting last minute gifts, making the season seem even more festive. The Christmas Village is also a great place to get some gifts because all of the vendors are Philadelphia-based, so you are supporting a local small business. It is also close to the larger department stores in center city, making it an efficient and fun trip. My family always makes sure to go see Dickens’ Village and the light show at Macy’s while grabbing our favorite holiday candy. 

There are also annual meal traditions. Whether you go to a party on Christmas Eve or Hanukkah or stay home and eat with family, food is always a key part of the holidays. Different families eat different meals that include certain elements specific to their household. A very common Christmas food is a turkey or ham with sides. Hanukkah has Latkes and other foods that make the holiday; “Every year my family and I make latkes because it is a long time tradition and relates to the holiday we celebrate: Hanukkah,” says Jake Stoller ’24. Food is a very important part of the holidays to many people. 

Arguably the best holiday tradition of all is gift giving. This stands for most holidays. From receiving gifts from a relative you don’t know to giving an awesome gift to someone you love, giving and receiving gifts sparks a lot of joy. This is especially true during the holidays. For some people, gift giving is the best part of everything surrounding the holidays. The sight of seeing someone happy because of something you did for them would make anyone smile. This also plays into community service as this is the time of year when donations and more hours are put in because of the holiday cheer. A key example of this is Winter Fest. 

The holiday season is one of the best times of the year and traditions help make it so. Whether it’s shopping for a cousin or parent, or eating dinner with people you haven’t seen all year, even the little things make the holidays special. Gifts are a key part particularly for younger kids and can make anyone happy, giving or receiving. Traditions also play a massive role and make the holidays special to everyone in their own way. Last year showed us how much we missed them and this year we can fully enjoy them and see how important they really are. 

Holiday Traditions | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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