Christmas Traditions In A Modern World
By: Aron Neelie
the forthcoming Holiday and Religious traditions, such as, Christmas and Chaunka, and others. And there are also many new people celebrating old traditions for their first time.
There are new traditions, spiritual and fun, abounding in new lands. Some ancient traditions are also now beginning to take hold on foreign soil in other’s ancient lands.
Today’s modern religious traditions are a wonderful, multi-cultural, global possibility. Especially now that there are no borders to hinder information. Today’s information and entertainment highway is an enormous resource easily available; and the “search” bar is still the most fruitful means of finding anything. In today’s global spirit of information and commerce, all one needs is a phrase or word and the search begins.
In this modern and accessible world, it’s easier to understand our families’ traditions and ancestry in a new light. It’s easier to feel connected to family lineage where, just a few decades ago- since when did ‘just a few decades ago’ become a short amount of time?-one could only travel there by ocean-liner or train. Now, there exists the accessibility to contact relatives and have a family tree branch out like a freeway weed. There’s also the ability to build a family tree in a way that links cultures and mankind. The nucleus may be the immediate family, but people now have the technology, if they so choose, to be graced with others. And choices indeed affect lives and family nucleus’ and attitudes.
Today, most generations of culture are experiencing an enormous sense of “loosing tradition”. Many are doing everything they can to preserve their traditions, while the new generations appreciate and experience new cultures.
Americans have forged their own, personal, traditions since, well, certainly since the 1700’s. The Country was built on incorporating other’s traditions, such as their ancestors’ already existing cultures, and the new cultures to which Americans would be exposed. All Americans have all learned from one another. They have adapted, modified and added their own spice to that which makes them now known globally as, Americans. And Americans are proud and highly respectful of their traditions, as they are also respectful and allowing of others’ celebrations and traditions.
Now, it appears as if the traditions have become even more centralized with immediate families at their core. As each family decides and participates, to a personal degree, in this holiday dripping with warmth.
All that is important becomes clear and pressed, at least for this month. Obligations during the holidays lie with family. Of that, there is little doubt. Right now, as the preparation for family festivities begins, the outside life which exists after the New Year, is of little importance and certainly not on anyone’s mind.
The tradition may belong to the Holiday, but the general feeling regarding the new millenium is still everywhere and quite genuine. And as in past Century marks, people are becoming more religious, spiritual and more accountable for their actions. As the world rounds into the long, interesting journey of the new century, there is a gentle reminder of the past. Of it’s happenings, of it’s traditions; which leads to the thought of family. The family’s past. The family’s traditions. And the families’ journeys from spiritual to physical.
The days over these holidays are filled with thoughts of what to do and what to get, rather than what should’ve been done or who is detested today. People are much more occupied with different types of obligations and duties than at any other time of the year. And year after year it is the same way. The same family. The same food. The same holidays all in a row. And year after year everyone looks forward to this season more and more. And with more and more attachment to it. With more emphasis on the little children and their innocence. And with more and more religious overtones and good wishings for our neighbors and family members.
Families are thought of and missed throughout the year. When families used to be a small, beginning nucleus, they’d dine together every night. Now, once a year hardly seems adequate, yet for some it is or ‘has to be’ that way. As the family ages, the nucleus changes. But one thing is certain, the yearning for family hightens as the holiday approaches.
At the dawning of Halloween everyone gets excited and begins thinking about Holiday plans. Or at least that they should be thinking about their Holiday plans. Who’s coming, who’s bringing what, who’s fighting with whom. And we all know, that by the time the gift giving holiday arrives, and by the time the celebration begins, all seems calm and right with the world. And fortunate for us all, that feeling lasts all day.
Everyone wishes that feeling of euphoria could last all year. Yet no one really understands why that overall feeling of giving and kindness doesn’t have “staying power”. But the fact remains that it doesn’t and that’s too bad. But while that global feeling of ‘good-will-to-man’ abounds, everyone feels just a little differently for that one glorious day and night.
That special feeling. The moment that all of the company has arrived, one at a time, each with a kiss and gift. When the house is full and memories of traditions passed. And when hearts are filled, and tears well in eyes. And the family is fed and stories are told and the littlest ones are playing.well, that’s Christmas. That peace. That calm. The appreciated moment within time. It’s the same year after year, country after country, generation after generation.
And now that all are together, traditions are taught, upheld and practiced.
Tradition is important. It is a respectful expression of gratitude. A respect of ancestry and the land from where you came. Tradition is a place, a moment to always know where you belong. A place where only the heart, soul and joy is allowed. Where you are always welcome and able to stay and participate. A moment of doing a repetitive act, so meaningful and so heartfelt that all are quiet, attentive and interested. A day when the time. when the moment. is slowed and lived.
How we choose to celebrate, how we choose to feast. is up to each generation, to each family, to each person, to carry on.
Have a beautifully merry holiday and a terrific new year!