Tradition, it connects us with our families and those that came before us. Traditions, at least for my family, are often tied to holidays. For Thanksgiving, my family always plays a game of two-hand touch football on Thanksgiving day (before the meal of course). We usually head up to the Las Vegas area, which is where my dad’s family is from. It is a great time for everyone, and we all enjoy it (side note: My team won this year, and I caught the winning touchdown).

For Christmas, things get better. I love how close families can come during Christmas time. My dad always makes a traditional French meal for dinner on Christmas Eve. My dad served a two-year LDS church mission in France, and has shared the rich tradition of French Christmas with us ever since. My parents invite as many families as are willing to participate every Christmas Eve to join in our meal. One family, that has come for as long as I can remember, always brings a 13-layer jello. Let me tell you, that stuff is always gone in a matter of minutes, it’s delicious. After the meal, everyone gathers in the family room for a “talent show.” Everyone that comes (not every family, but every individual) has to show a talent for everyone. It never has to be anything major, reading a simple poem will do. At the end of the program, my dad will always read the Christmas story from Luke chapter two. It is a great time to be together with lots of people that we care about.

After all the hoopla is over, all the guests have left, and the dishes are done, we go out and look at Christmas lights. This was a tradition that my sister wanted to start when we were kids. We all pile in the car and drive around to look at the festive displays people have set up. It’s great as an adult, but as a kid I can tell you I had little patience for it.

Christmas has always been more than Christmas day. For me, it’s always been about the days leading up to the 25th. Think about it, when is there a more magical time than the month of December. People focus on others, give service, help the needy, volunteer, etc. What a great time? I can’t imagine a better habit for Americans to get into than helping their neighbors.

About the Author
Jordan Freis is a freelance writer for My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them, helps them understand how they can find the best online colleges, and which ones they can choose from to reach their goals.