What My Holiday Traditions Mean to Me

Thanksgiving is over. It’s officially December. You know what that means? It’s time for holiday traditions. I don’t know about you, but traditions are what makes my holiday season special. I always look forward to the time I can spend with family and friends, some of whom I only get to see once a year when they come back to New York. When I was younger, I remembered that as soon as thanksgiving was over, the first thing that popped into my mind was presents. Now that I am older, I am very thankful for the traditions my family and friends have kept throughout the years.

I always like to start my holidays off with a full day of Christmas music, I don’t pick a specific day in December. I usually start by having the Carpenters Christmas album on repeat to get me into the holiday spirit. Hearing Christmas music really gets me in the Christmas mood to do my next tradition. Set up my tree and put all the ornaments on it. Getting our Christmas tree set up is one of those magical and special moments I spend with my family. We have a very large 13-foot tree. It usually takes two days to get our tree holiday ready. We always have Christmas music playing throughout the house and the fireplace is on.

Another holiday tradition we have is cookie baking day. Every year our family goes into holiday cookie baking mode. We usually make homemade chocolate chip cookies and some type of pie. If you are looking for an easy gift to give someone for the holidays, bake some extra cookies and put them in small baggies to hand out to your friends or neighbors.

There’s also a holiday party with my high school friends. Every year my friends throw a holiday party, which is the perfect time for getting together because a lot of my friends are home visiting for Christmas. It’s that one time of the year we can all catch up. We usually do a Secret Santa gift exchange with a $25 limit per person. It’s always a good time. We take a group photo every year which makes it a very special tradition.

Another family tradition we have is looking at lights. Every year we get in the car as a family and drive around to local small towns and villages to look at the Christmas lights. This is a tradition my parents have done with me and my brother since we were little. We try to see what has changed from when we were viewing the lights last year. This usually ends up in some sort of argument in the car because we all have that family member who is right all the time.

To me the ultimate holiday tradition is giving back to others. My family always makes time to volunteer and be involved with charities. Every year we do our annual toy drive. My dad loads his truck up with gifts to bring to the local charities. Remember to always be grateful for what you have. There is always someone who could always use a little holiday cheer. The act of kindness goes a long way. This can be something as simple as donating a gift or volunteering at your local soup kitchen. Spend time with the people you love and care about. Reminiscing about past years and creating new memories are what the holidays are all about. Have a happy holiday everyone!

About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.