The holidays are almost here and everyone has their own way of celebrating. Some traditions are universally loved, while others are unique to the families that partake in them. As the years go by, these celebrations and traditions change and take on a new life.
With that being said, Christmas traditions like anything else tend to get outdated. Some ways of celebrating make no sense in the 21st century. Others are participated in out of feelings of obligation, which can add to the stress of the holidays. So without further ado, let’s take a look back at some classic holiday traditions we’re glad are dying out, and some that we hope will stick around.
Die Out: Fruitcake
The idea of fruitcake as a holiday tradition might remain, but does anyone actually eat these things for Christmas? Fruitcakes are baked goods stuffed with candied fruits, nuts, and spices and typically soaked in alcohol. Store-bought varieties tend to be dry, unappetizing, and known for their ability to go long periods of time without spoiling. The creation of this baked good actually dates back to ancient Rome, but we doubt it has been welcome at anyone’s Christmas table for years.
Save: Holiday Baking
Baking delicious treats is an activity that really evokes the holiday spirit. Whether you’re dusting off an old family recipe or trying something new, there’s nothing like holiday baking. Giving homemade baked goods to loved ones is also a sweet way to spread holiday cheer without having to spend tons of money.
Die Out: Christmas Shopping At The Mall
Christmas shopping doesn’t need to die out altogether, but spending all day at the mall hopping from store to store is quite an unappealing idea. Malls are already becoming less popular, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. And of course, in 2020 online shopping has reached a new level. According to the New York Times, in the 2020 holiday season, an estimated three billion packages were shipped. And now in 2021, Oberlo.com predicts that by the end of this year, there will have been over 230 million US digital buyers—a 1.32 percent increase from 2020. And honestly, why go to the mall when you can Christmas shop from the comfort of your own home?
Save: Spending Time With Family
In 2021 there are still many different ways to stay in touch with your loved ones for the holidays, even if it’s just through a Zoom call. However, we hope that after the coronavirus pandemic is over, spending quality time with loved ones is a trend that never goes away. Whether you’re playing games, eating tons of food, or just sitting and talking for hours, the holidays are a wonderful time to let go of your worries and reconnect with your family.
Die Out: Caroling
Going caroling seems like a bit of an odd trend to continue in the 21st century. Being outside and singing for strangers in the freezing cold sounds miserable for the carolers. And awkwardly listening to strangers sing is an equally unappealing activity.
Save: Christmas Movies
Some Christmas movies never get old, but the nice thing about holiday-themed movies is that nowadays there’s something for everyone. There are comedies like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, heart-warming films like Miracle On 34th Street, new-age flicks like Happiest Season, and of course plenty of cheesy Hallmark movies. Even if Christmas movies aren’t your favorite, at the very least they’re comforting to have on while decorating or wrapping gifts.
Die Out: Mandatory Gift Giving
On a similar note to the dying out of mall shopping, some people have decided that gift-giving altogether isn’t a necessary part of Christmas. Of course, children should still get to enjoy the Christmas magic of opening presents and seeing what Santa left them. However, Christmas can be a stressful time for a lot of adults, and feeling obligated to get every single adult friend and family member a gift can be overwhelming. Some families have decided that it really isn’t necessary for adults to exchange gifts with everyone. And feeling obligated to buy dozens of gifts really shouldn’t be a part of Christmas.
Save: Christmas Countdowns
There are numerous fun ways to countdown to Christmas. Classic traditions like advent calendars and paper chains are a nostalgic way for kids to get excited for the holidays. New twists on advent calendars can also be really cool. For example in Emily Norris’ video below she discusses how she and her family do a “reverse advent calendar,” where every day they add an item to a box to give to charity. Some families also wrap Christmas books for their children to open every night so they will have a story to read.
Die Out: Christmas Cards
Christmas cards can be nice when they’re from close friends and family members. However, these days fewer people are prioritizing wrangling their kids together for a family portrait to send via snail mail. With social media, we’re constantly bombarded with pictures of people’s families every day. For this reason, Christmas cards aren’t really necessary anymore.
Save: Looking At Lights
Christmas is going to be a little different in 2020, but it’s comforting to know that one simple tradition doesn’t have to change. Looking at Christmas lights is a comforting and fun activity that complies with social distancing. It also doesn’t mean you have to go all out decorating your own home. Plenty of neighborhoods and local parks pride themselves on showing off their Christmas displays. And looking at these lights is usually free!