Updated: Jan 17
December 25 is hugely anticipated every year. With 25 to 35 million Christmas trees sold in the United States, alone, last year, Christmas is a jolly season that is festively celebrated by 2 billion people in 160 different countries.
Christmas is commonly known for a festival that brings people together, giving a chance for them to rekindle with family members, friends or relatives that live far from home. The festivities of those who celebrate Christmas spark joy to the cold winter, as children help their parents decorating Christmas trees, hanging stockings on stairs rail and cooking or baking staple Christmas food. These traditions bind families together.
Interestingly, recent studies observed significant changes in the number of people practising Christmas traditions as less people sending greeting cards, joining in carol singing and skipping turkey dinner.
As our traditions provides a sense of identity and belonging – it is essential to preserve them. The traditions should be valued and passed on for generations to come.
Christmas traditions are dying out? So, how can we preserve our treasured traditions?
The best method to preserve traditions that has been tested through time is storytelling!
Christmas is a time where you can sit down for hours and spend time with family, read Christmas Stories and remember the real reason we celebrate it. You can invite your children to act out the nativity. Folklore has its place in the world as it teaches values to its listeners, and it should be preserved to combat the brutal modernisation that takes away the traditions of a culture.
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” – Sue Monk Kidd
While reading Christmas Stories to your children, you can share with them your personal experience of celebrating Christmas. To make it more interesting, you can act out your favourite moments through body language and facial expressions. By sharing stories with your children, it will prompt them to remember who they are and get them closer to their cultural roots. They will keep those precious memories of Christmas close to heart and hopefully, preserving the long-lasting traditions as told by the parents!
I have read that storytelling helps to preserve traditions. But what kind of stories do I tell my children?
If you are wondering about the stories to read to your children, here are a few Christmas book recommendations that could be an activity for your Christmas this year.
1. One Snowy Night by Christina Butler
Little Hedgehog received a snug, woolly red hat from Father Christmas! However the hat seems to not fit Little Hedgehog well, as his prickles get in the way every time. It’s no use. But then Little Hedgehog has an idea, and the hat turns out to be the greatest Christmas present ever.
2. The Elves and the Shoemaker by Paul Galdone
The classic story of elves helping a poor, hardworking shoemaker by sewing an untouched leather into a pair of shoes. He sells the shoes and receive more than the asking price. He uses the money to pay his house rent, buy food and feed a hungry traveller. The elves continue to sew shoes for the shoemaker. Strangely, they only appear after the shoemaker sleeps. Find out what will happen once the shoemaker realises the existence of the elves and decides to stay up late to observe them.
3. Christmas Switcheroo by Tuula Pere
It is a story of a family that loves Christmas. Mom is always eager when it comes to Christmas, she even starts preparing for the perfect Christmas early in the fall. Dad is just like Mom! He takes importance of Christmas decorations which lead him to decorate the garden with tons of Christmas lights to delight himself and the neighbours. This year, they get the last presents ready in the nick of time. But things don’t play quite as they planned. Will Christmas still turn out ‘perfect’ despite this year’s less-than-perfect preparations?
4. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Bay
Every year, Mr. Willowby has never failed to purchase a Christmas tree and display it in his parlour. Christmas is here and Mr. Willoby’s tree has arrived! However… the tree is just too tall to fit in his parlour. He cuts off the top so it will fit, but little does he know that the top of the tree will travel across the countryside, bringing holiday cheers to the home of bears, rabbits and more.
5. The Snowman and the Snow-dog by Raymond Briggs
This is a book about a boy who moves to a new house after the passing of his beloved dog. In the garden of his new house, he builds a snowman. He also builds a snow-dog to keep the snowman company. When the sun starts to set and the sky darkens through the night, both snowman and snow-dog come to life. Since then, the three embark on magical adventures.
These heartwarming stories are perfect additions to your family festive holiday’s traditions! You can read these stories to your children and relating the stories to Christmas by instilling values and reasons of celebrating it. Keep reading to your children, for reading is the best method to keep Christmas traditions from dying out.
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury
While some may be interested to read to their children this Christmas, they may find it difficult to pack along the books as they will be travelling during this festive season. They may use an alternative way to read to their children which is using an interactive storytelling app. For more information of the app click on this link to download Me Books Plus App: https://apple.co/2S3iKzk (iOS) or http://bit.ly/2S7TFmY (Android).