Find your perfect holiday tradition to bring family and friends together
The phrase “holiday tradition” conjures up a different image for everyone.
When I hear those words, I’m instantly transported to my childhood home. I’m curled up with my family around the fireplace, nestled together, buried under blankets. It’s cold outside and the only light comes from the flickering fire and a small reading lamp in the corner. I close my eyes and listen to my dad’s voice, soaking up each word as he begins to read.
That was our holiday tradition. Starting every year at Thanksgiving, we would choose a book and take turns reading aloud to each other a few nights each week. It was the perfect respite from the daily hustle and bustle of a five-person household. For that little bit of time, there were no chores that needed doing, no doctor’s appointments to worry about, no busy schedules to plan around. It was just us, gathered together and sharing a special moment.
Years later I still treasure those memories, and I even look forward to carrying it on with my own children one day. Holiday traditions can be a powerful and emotional part of celebrating the holiday season for so many people. They bring us joy, comfort, and experiences we can cherish forever.
Holiday traditions can be big or small. They can be quiet and simple, intimate moments shared between just two people. My grandparents liked to dress up and go to a classical music concert every year around Hanukkah. It was something they anticipated with excitement, something that brought them closer.
Or, holiday traditions can be loud and boisterous, shared with a whole family or friend group! One year, I was lucky enough to witness a friend’s holiday tradition at Christmastime. Her extended family hosted an open talent show for everyone to participate in. From juggling to singing to even stand-up comedy, it was an “anything goes” kind of show. And while it was loads of fun to watch everyone display their talents, I came to see that it wasn’t actually about the individual performances. It was about family and friends supporting each other, laughing together, and making lasting memories.
You can draw inspiration from these traditions — or from some of our favorite holiday activities — but the most important thing is to find what works best for you. There aren’t any rules when it comes to starting your own tradition. It’s not about following trends or doing things the “right” way — it’s about building something meaningful with the people you love.
If you’re looking for a unique and creative tradition you can carry on with family and friends, step aboard a Hornblower holiday cruise! See the stunning sights. Feel the wind in your hair. Eat, drink, and share an unforgettable experience. You’ll have so much fun you’ll come back again next year, and the year after that. And before you know it, you’ve started your own holiday tradition. It’s only a cruise away.