How Holiday Traditions Big and Small Bind Us Together
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The holidays are in full tilt, igniting the spirit of togetherness once again. There’s no other time of the year that I personally feel so engaged with those around me than from mid-November until mid-January. I love every minute of it, sincerely connected to the many people from all facets of my life. Of course I feel in sync with my peeps the rest of the year too, but for some reason during the holidays, it ramps up!
Related: 4 Ways to Embrace the Holiday Season
We recently had our annual holiday party at work. I have forever enjoyed the work holiday party, I can tell you that. It’s a time-honored tradition that I am now proud to play host to. Every year is a different theme (this year was Prohibition, and last year was Vegas Style), and every year we can count on a packed dance floor after raffling off a whole list of holiday surprises. This annual party brings us all together in celebration of yet another successful year and in anticipation of what’s to come next.
And what comes next is generally some down time from work so that we can spend some quality time with family, before the challenges and complexities of a new work year kick into gear.
For me, Thanksgiving and Christmas is loaded with family traditions. From how we stuff the bird to our holiday tableware to new pajamas on Christmas Eve to lasagna on Christmas Day -- our family traditions are what make the holidays so festive for us. Some are grand, like a big dinner and Broadway Show in New York in December, and some are quite simple, like the same cheese-filled artichoke dip we make at every family get-together.
I’m a big believer in traditions, and I have stacks of holiday decorations and photo albums to prove it. We’ve been known to put up seven Christmas trees around the house, and we are famous for an appetizer layout that would bring you to your knees! It all makes for the wonderful photo op.
Traditions at work are important, because they glue people together and make them a family. When people can point to the unique activities that make up the group, it gives them an emotional connection that can’t be replicated.
So of course, we go all-out for the holiday party, and snap selfies with our “work wives” and “brothers from other mothers.” Naturally, we will dance until our shoes fall off. It’s what we do.
The same is true for families. While the emotional bond is already there, traditions give us comfort and security as we go through all of the changes that life brings. Every year brings new burdens and opportunities for families, and it’s in our traditions that we can take calm and respite, despite the hectic lives we all live.
I for one am looking forward to our munching out on Christmas Eve as we change into new pajamas so that our pictures in the morning look nice and fresh. I am going to assemble our infamous lasagna for us to have on Christmas Day, because that’s what everyone’s expects to eat after we open presents together. I’ll have stockings stuffed with little trinkets, even though my kids are both young adults now.
PS: To read more about the traditions that have bound both my work and family families together, grab a copy of my new book Out and About Dad. Happy Holidays!