Making your own traditions

Many of the things we think of as traditional at this time of year aren’t actually that old. The first Christmas tree in the UK happened around 1800 and they didn’t really take off until Queen Victoria got into them. The trees are a German tradition. 

The whole red and white Santa image is modern, green Santas are older and before that we had a diverse bunch of Gods, saints, Goddesses and spirits associated with midwinter and gifts. Or punishment, if you happen to be a krampus.

There’s no one right way of doing any of this. Real traditions are living things that evolve over time. Harking back to older traditions in the hopes of finding something purer or more authentic is also a really traditional thing to do. At some point, every tradition we have is just something someone made up.

Living tradition should be about passing along the fun stuff, not dolefully re-enacting whatever has been handed down to us. It should always be ok to reject traditions that don’t work.

The capitalist side of Christmas is a terrible tradition, causing financial misery for many and putting extra pressure on our already struggling planet. These would be traditions to reject. It’s all modern nonsense anyway, and there’s no need to keep it going.

I hope that however you relate to this particularly odd day, that it treats you kindly and that you are able to find peace and good things.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

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