This holiday season, I’ve been wondering a lot about traditions—Thanksgiving traditions, Christmas traditions, family traditions, friend traditions, everything. No matter what holiday you celebrate, chances are, you participate in some traditions around this time of year.
I’ve been wondering why people love keeping traditions so much, why this time of year, and what their effect is on us.
I did some research and found some pretty telling explanations. According to this Bustle article I found, humans love traditions because we feel comfortable following a crowd, we enjoy predictability and stability, and they provide memories full of sensory information (like smells and taste) that make us look forward to certain times or places. Apparently, there’s tons of psychology behind traditions.
Traditions also, believe it or not, can help people be happy and healthy. The same article says that children who grow up in households that practice lots of holiday traditions are more likely to have good mental health. I think that’s extremely telling.
Around the holiday season there’s a lot going on that can cause stress. Almost everyone experiences some sort of stress during this time of year, for various reasons. Therefore, it’s so important to actively seek out things that can relieve us of this stress and keep us happy and healthy.
Anyone will tell you—getting together with family and friends is at the heart of the holiday season. So it could be easy to incorporate some new traditions into your get-togethers. After all, it’s never too late to start a tradition.
One thing my friends and I love to do on New Year’s Eve is get together at one girl’s house and play a funny board game called Quelf—you can check that out with this link—until we sit and watch the ball drop. It really brings us together while we laugh and and make fools of ourselves. I look forward to it all year, and I think it strengthens my friendship with this group of people.
This one tradition may be a little more cliche, but my family and I love to go chop down a Christmas tree together. My two little sisters and I pick it out, my dad and I chop it down with a little hand saw (that’s some hard work), and all five of us drag it back to the car. I can smell the tree right now as I’m writing this, and it gives me this warm feeling inside.
This season, start some new traditions with your friends and family. It’s a great way to bring everyone closer together, make everyone happy, and relieve some extra stress. And there are so many different ways to do it. Introduce a new card game to play with your family after your holiday dinner. Go see a midnight release of a movie on Christmas day with your friends. Then, all you have to do is keep that tradition alive. And trust me, it will be worth it.