My informant is a college student who lives in the same apartment complex as me. He is a communications major, 23 years old, and he is from Chicago. I asked him if he had any holiday traditions and mentioned what his family partakes in during Christmas. I was interested to see how similar his traditions are to mine and any other traditions I have heard, so here is what he shared with me:
“Okay so each Christmas my sister and I open our stockings first because when we were babies my mom bought us embroidered stockings with out names on them, then the presents are divided under the tree and everyone opens their gifts in order one person at a time, then we eat around noon, usually honey ham, green bean casserole, potatoes, and wine. Then we watch a Christmas or hallmark movie and then the day is pretty much over. But my sister having two kids has definitely changed things up.”
From the sound of it there are many Christmas traditions that families from all over share. My informant, as mentioned previously is from Chicago, but my family and I from California partake in a similar tradition. I think the main point of Christmas is to make each other happy and share a day with family giving to each other and enjoying the month leading up to this time. Christmas is the biggest holiday celebrated in the sense that stores will have sections dedicated to this time, and music will be played there are tree lighting festivals and little light shows you can go to to see the decorated houses and lights. Although there is a lot of history surrounding Christmas, the traditions that I have heard and the ones my family practices are not far from normal. These are all classic examples of holiday traditions that are practiced all around the world, even in different cultures. This kind of folklore can be seen in movies, shared from previous generations, and even researched in history books or music.
After further research, it could be examined that people would decorate trees in their homes with lights and colorful toys as far back as the 1500s. This goes to show that because these traditions have been documented and passed from different cultures and generations it still lives on and might even slightly change.