Tag Archives: winter break

Big Bear Ritual

Informant: N.N

Nationality: American

Primary Language: English

Other Language(s): N/A

Age: 19

Occupation: Student

Residence: Burbank, CA

Performance Date: 04/26/2024

N.N is 19 years old and is from Burbank, CA. I am close friends with his brother, so N.N is an acquaintance of mine. I asked him if there are any festivals or rituals he participates in regularly. He tells me about the yearly ritual his family does, in celebration of Christmas and December Break. 

“Every December, once school’s out, my family heads up to Big Bear and we stay there for like a week. We started this whole thing about four years ago when my uncle, who’s pretty much obsessed with snowboarding, thought it’d be a great idea for us to get together and hit the slopes. So, my mom would rent an Airbnb, and we’d spend our winter break snowboarding as much as we can. It’s pretty fun. My cousins E. and M. were just getting old enough to enjoy the trip, so my uncle figured it was the perfect time to start. I interpret this yearly celebration as a way for our family to just enjoy winter break and Christmas together in a way that’s unique to us. I really like it and I hope we keep doing this for a long time.”

Their December snowboarding trip also coincides with the Christmas season, which I think adds value to the family bonding experience. Since I know them personally, I know that they are a family that is super active and always into sports so this was probably a creative way to incorporate their hobby into a celebration. For them, Christmas is a time that’s associated with family and togetherness. Even though they aren’t Christian, they celebrate Christmas as a way to get closer and show appreciation for one another. I think that by integrating their holiday celebrations with this active tradition, it allows them to have core memories and stronger relationships since they have a shared experience. Their tendency to make it a tradition also shows how they have celebrated many traditions / rituals before that is personalized to their interests.