All holidays contain a certain amount of tradition but this particular time of year seems to hold the most cherished of them. Many are practically a staple – lights, and gifts and treats. But how they start and grow can be as unique as individual families.

It’s the blending of old and new traditions that make the season bright. History repeats itself each year with treasures from the past. They can go as far back as Grandma’s passed down decorations, or special recipes for cookies, candies and cakes made only once a year. No matter how old children get, the holidays see us displaying their art from when they were tiny tots. Pinecones painted gold and handprintChristmas trees make their way out of boxes to be admired once again. There are stockings as old as we are and Menorahs from Hanukkahs past. The comfort of stability and things that have always been are the warm and cozy feeling that tradition brings.

Certain events always make the playlist at this time of year. Caroling, holiday programs at school or church, driving around to look at fantastic light displays and parties with loved ones and friends, fill our calendars with glee. Making gingerbread houses, seeing Santa and spinning the dreidel for treasures all stand in good stead for filling our holiday with traditions.

Adding new traditions can brighten the holiday season immeasurably. Something as small as adding a new seasonal movie or book to your repertoire or expanding outward by leaving Secret Santa gifts anonymously on friends or neighbors doorsteps can add a new and sparking dimension to your happy holiday season. Reaching outside of one’s own family always invokes good feelings. Adopting a family or child in need truly reveals the feeling that it’s better to give than receive. A simple Google search can reveal a plethora of new and fun ideas.

However you make it the most wonderful time of the year, carrying traditions forward and creating new ones are what make the holidays special.