An anthropologist explains why we love holiday rituals and traditions
Holiday rituals are a significant bonding process for the entire family, especially young children. The joyous or silly rituals, great food, gifts and reconnection become the real reason for being alive.
Group identity and belongingness play a huge factor in all the members of the family, including the in-laws. The festive rituals are perfect for family harmony and often have ‘peak’ moments that are unforgettable.
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Every year, at this time, there is a surge of rentals and viewerships in the movies related to the holidays, where Christmas stories and family bondings are lapped up by viewers wanting to glimpse ...
The fictional world that holiday movies bring to the viewers provides them solace, courage and reaffirmation to move past the obstacles in their real life.
Though watching Christmas movies during holiday season is a ‘ritual’, the movies themselves do not bend towards christaniity or God, but towards true love, the power of family, the meaning of home and relationships.
Certain songs in holiday movies become etched in the consciousness of people, providing a glimpse of the ideal world which has no dark side, no war, no conflict, no poverty, and no evil.
The movies and the accompanying music create positive emotions, nostalgia and a feeling that all's right with the world, even though it is a constructed, alternative reality.
Every year, many families across the world celebrate Christmas and have a tradition of giving children with special Christmas gifts.
Critics have decried the commercialization of the Christ...
Donating gifts to poor children as Christmas charity started only after gift-giving to the children of one’s own family and friends became a common ritual.
Gifting in general is not according to ‘good behaviour’ and does not have an exclusive link to the Christian faith.
Gift giving for children during Christmas started in New York City in the 1800s when the holiday was ‘reinvented’ as a family bonding time that integrated the various home decoration and shopping rituals.
When the city’s population grew ten times from 1800 to 1850, city planners and the elites feared that the street revelry done by ‘commoners’ would be a problem for them during the holidays, and started to focus the celebrations to be done at homes only.