Posted 19 Dec, 2018
POPULAR TRADITIONS BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS
The holidays are a magical time of year. They’re full of wonder and whimsy, cheer and goodwill. It’s the time of year when people inexplicably smile a little easier, laugh a little louder, and are more likely to give a stranger a kind word. While the holidays themselves are often the focal point of this activity, it’s also the period leading up to the yuletide that is anticipated by so many. So, in the spirit of this holiday season, here are a few of the most popular pre-Christmas traditions that people observe today.
That Perfect Movie
Whether it’s a young lad comically defending his home from a duo of inept robbers, or a plucky little elf who just wants to be a dentist, there’s always that one story we have to see, or the holidays just wouldn’t feel complete. It often stems back to our youth, as most things do. Perhaps you watched it for the first time with a beloved relative or that special someone, or perhaps you just loved and connected with that story for reasons that transcend simple viewing pleasure. Whatever reasons you have, we sincerely hope you find the time to watch that movie once again this year.
Cutting Down a Live Tree
This particular pre-Christmas tradition is something that might be unique to those who live outside of the city but nevertheless, it’s one that many refuse do without. There’s something distinctly Canadian about strapping on your boots, grabbing an axe or a saw, riding a tractor out into the depths of a tree farm, and selecting that perfect Christmas tree. Naturally, the friendly arguments on how best to cut the trunk and where to cut it are bandied about the group. But in the end, the tree is freed from its frozen roots and slung over the shoulders of the most stalwart individuals, where it is carried back to the entrance and bound in rope for further transport back to the homestead. Nothing quite compares to the smell of a freshly chopped tree. To many, this smell is synonymous with Christmas and is indeed essential to evoking that unique Christmas feeling.
Neighbourhood Christmas Parties
While Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are usually reserved for family, it’s the weeks preceding those festive days in which one usually sees the highly anticipated neighbourhood Christmas party. Often held by the neighbour with the most amount of holiday cheer, it by no means requires planning of any sort. Casually begun with an unannounced visit from friends in the spirit of the season, it starts off with nary a wink. But then before you know it the calls are made, the people begin to arrive, and in the space of hardly any time at all the table is lined with hors-d'oeuvres and tasty treats. The kids scamper about, the adults laugh and converse, and a wonderful time is had by all, in that new old fashioned way.
Decorating the Tree
Christmas just isn’t Christmas without that perfectly decorated tree. And by perfect, we, of course, mean one that features ornaments placed with zero regard for aesthetic symmetry, tinsel strewed about haphazardly, and more than a few ornaments broken during the whole process. Proper tree decoration is all about the experience of the kids and parents coming together to create something that represents the combined efforts of the whole family. It’s the very essence of teamwork and compromise. Because in the end what matters most is the time you’ve all spent together.
Merry Christmas To All, and to All a Good Night
While Christmas may not be something everyone celebrates, the spirit of kindness and goodwill that this season promotes is often the real point behind it all. These concepts are the universally accepted altruistic traits that act as the backbone to most major belief systems. In that sense, Christmas is a truly inclusive holiday, not unlike how the Greater Toronto Area is a very inclusive place. So this year, when you hear “Merry Christmas” take it as a sign you are wished good things, and feel free say it back in return.