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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Traditions to Ditch

The holidays are a season for traditions. Some traditions are as simple as going as a family to pick a Christmas tree, while others may consist of time-consuming, patience testing, and energy draining activities that result in exhaustion. While customs are a fun way to celebrate the season, have you ever wondered if some of your traditions are really worth the time and energy?

Maybe it’s time to analyze what traditions are truly meaningful and which ones aren’t. For example, if baking 10-dozen Christmas cookies is an annual event that you have to squeeze in between working, cleaning, shopping and more, why do it? I know I used to bake dozens of cookies and get my kids to help out. When they were younger, they liked it. The other day they were bored after the first kind and as I looked around at the very messy kitchen and kids who deserted me, I decided 2 dozen cookies were plenty.

Do you buy gifts for everyone in your family? Not only is it expensive, but also you may want to ask yourself if it’s necessary. I have a large family. I have 16 nieces and nephews, way too many to buy gifts for. So for the past few years, we have decided to exchange names and buy only for as many nieces and nephews as one has kids (fortunately I only have 2 kids which means I only have 2 presents to buy).

Don’t’ get me wrong — I do enjoy observing many customs and traditions and perhaps should ask myself which of these really add to the celebration of the season and which take away from the joy of it.

Do you have any customs/traditions that you think may be more of a waste of energy than a celebration of the season? Share your thoughts here.


1 Frutero { 12.22.10 at 8:56 pm }

I think we could stand to spend less, eat less, watch less TV, and enjoy each other more. In these strapped times, family members could draw names and each give ONE other family member ONE gift. And each grown-up enough family member could provide ONE dish, too. No electronic games, no I-PADS, no texting or TV… real card or board games at a real table, with real conversation, and- yes- real song! I think I’d like that- wouldn’t you?

2 Hp { 12.21.10 at 2:27 pm }

I have to agree with the author. You can uphold the traditions while cutting out the excess. As for the children they still get gifts. Holidays are too much about gifts as of late and less about what the real reason for the holiday is. Time well spent with loved ones is the best gift you could give. To have had one more holiday with my father would have been better than a million gifts under the tree.

3 Sherri { 12.21.10 at 9:52 am }

How many of us stress ourselves out trying to create the perfect Christmas? And why? Traditions are great, and some are worth holding onto, but if you are stressed out each year, it might be time to assess your traditions, simplify, keep the ones which are really meaningful and release those which aren’t. We are so busy trying to create peace, love and joy but are we really experiencing those qualities of the holiday season? I think this was the message of this article and one worth being mindful of!

4 Sandi Duncan { 12.21.10 at 9:47 am }

Thanks for your reply. You too are entitled to your opinion. I do like traditions and my kids do as well. I guess what I was trying to say is that maybe it’s time to analyze what traditions are good ones that bring joy and memories and which ones just add more pressure and time to an already busy schedule. Hope you have a wonderful holiday with lots of traditions.

5 CPF { 12.21.10 at 9:39 am }

While you are entitled to your opinion, I believe we have traditions for a reason. Some remind us of family members no longer with us, like baking those cookies like we used to with Mom and Grandma, buying gifts for all the children in the family…afterall, it’s about kids! You don’t have to spend a lot on each child, but still, gifts are so magical to children. Cutting back if you can’t afford it is one thing, but traditions are traditions for a reason. Can’t agree with you on this article at all.

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