Empanadas, tamales and tacos for Christmas Eve dinner instead of baked, honey-glazed ham? Thanksgiving breakfast instead of Thanksgiving dinner? Sounds as far from traditional as my Jehovah’s Witness friend showing up to a Halloween party dressed as the Easter Bunny. If something is not “traditional,” can it still be a tradition?
Because being a budget-tight college student prevents me from affording a plane ticket home, I was able to spend this holiday season with my friend and her family who live nearby and celebrate the holidays in a not-so-traditional manner. On Thanksgiving morning, I was surprised that no turkey was being stuffed. Instead, the table was covered with an array of aromatic pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage and pastries. “Happy Thanksgiving!” greeted her family, “Come get your feast on!” A month later, I returned to their home to celebrate Christmas. Again, I was initiated into their family’s tradition of eating a feast of Mexican food for Christmas Eve dinner.
After returning home from holiday celebrations, I laughed at the unique traditions of my friend’s family. Despite not being “traditional” in nature, their family’s holiday traditions still welcomed in the holiday cheer as well as friends and family from all walks of life. Non-traditional traditions should become more of a habitual practice than a rare occurrence. Foster creativity, build memories and establish your own unique traditions to share with loved ones this holiday season! Your next “invented” tradition could be the new big thing next to dubstep Christmas music.