Christmas traditions and the different ways to celebrate

Nathan More, Contributor

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Christmas is a holiday that has been around forever.  It’s a holiday that is both religious and a cultural. For two millennia, people have been observing it with the traditions and practices that are both religious and cultural.  Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus. Centuries before the arrival of Jesus, Europeans celebrated light and birth of even the hardest of days.  Many people celebrated during winter solstice because that was when the survived the winter and could begin to look forward to those longer days and more hours of sunlight.

In the early 17th century, a religious reform changed the way people celebrated Christmas.  When Oliver Cromwell and his forces of Puritans took over England in 1645, the vowed to rid England of Christmas, and cancelled the holiday.  Once Charles ll was back in power he restored the popular holiday.

Christmas is a special holiday.  It’s a holiday that holds a special place in our hearts.  Almost everyone has their own way of celebrating this holiday.  It’s one that you can make your own, unlike most. During Christmas more people come home then any other holiday.  This holiday brings more families together than ever before. People are able to put aside their differences and come together.  

People get to bond through so many ways.  One way families get to bond is decorating the house and Christmas tree.  People get to make their own ornaments, buy matching ornaments, tinsel, lights, stars.  You get to make the Christmas tree your own. No one tree will be the same as yours and it’s something special we can all share.  

In my family when we decorate the tree we use only ornaments that me and my sisters have made and ones that have sentimental value to us.  Dallas told me, “We like to hang different flavored candy canes every year to change our tree up.”

Decorating the house also gets to be special to everyone.  You get to make decorations and there’s endless possibilities of what you can do.  My family hasn’t ever been much into the decorating house part, but we lately have. With the outside we now have a couple reindeer and also have a projection on the front of our house.  When I asked my dad why he did this his response was, “Our house has always been a little bland and I wanted to change it up this year.”

Something my family has always made sure to do is that we’ve kept the same stockings since we were born.  They are something special to use that we own and get to see above the fireplace. They are what sometimes even have my favorite gifts because they aren’t extravagant or anything but sometimes have what I’ve always been wanting.  My mom told me the reasoning for keeping these is, “As a child I had the same stocking and it was special and I enjoyed it and I wanted to carry that on.”

Something a lot of people don’t think about is how different Christmas can be for split families.  This will be my 6th Christmas having two different Christmases with my mom and dad. They live three hours apart so I have to spend half the day just traveling to go to both.  This makes it especially hard because then I don’t get to spend much actual time with family as we end up being more worried about when we have leave and arrive on time. It also is especially hard on kids because that means they must leave one of their parents for the holidays just so they have a chance to see the other.  Me and my sisters have always been all right with this though and make the best of it. Because as my sister sees it, “What’s better than having two Christmases?” As a bigger brother it is always great to hear that my sisters are able to see the good over the bad in situations like these. Also I’m not saying it is a bad thing, but my family has expanded so much which has given me the opportunity to celebrate the holiday more and for much longer. Overall Christmas is the holiday that a lot of us needed in life to show us to give and be happy.