Time builds tradition

December 2, 2008
Originally posted at http://nostalgicbmy.blogspot.com
I love Christmas. It is a season when the masses move into a collective and unified emotion of nostalgia, joy and hope. Christmas is old and we embrace its great age for it is filled with tradition, and time builds tradition.

Most, if not all, of what we enjoy during the Christmas season comes from older and ancient generations. The holiday, after all, is the celebration of a glorious event that first occurred over two thousand years ago. Its best and most characteristically Christmas practices have a lengthy history dating back many generations. Think of caroling, it is a basic and strictly Christmas tradition. It’s an old tradition, so much so that many dress in period clothing to carol. We are indebted to the culture of past celebrators of Christmas for this joyous and festive practice that so many continue to enjoy today. I say we are indebted because I cannot see the modern generation creating and enjoying the tradition of caroling if we had not inherited it. It is the product of a vastly different culture.

I am not sure today’s generation would move on their own to write and compose Christmas carols, banding together to walk in the chill air from house to house singing their songs to each of their neighbors. If the this generation were to start such a tradition it would be vastly different, probably consisting of overly secular pop and rock songs to be sung at concerts through microphones and speakers.

What I love about Christmas is the way such a large portion of the population embraces the old. For this season peoples’ favorites in film and music become more classic. People suddenly desire to watch black-and-white, they want to hear Sinatra, Crosby and Nat King Cole.

In this modern times nostalgia we create blends of present and past. We each have our own visions for the perfect Christmas home and it generally blends classic decorations and traditions with modern convinces and trends. Homes are decorated in lights as they have been for generations but new technologies make them more ornate and glamorous. Indoors rooms once lit by electricity and bulbs are now lit by candle flame. DVDs with video of crackling fireplaces matched with Christmas carols enter homes to be played and viewed on the television. Why go through such lengths to put a fire in the living room? Because this is Christmas and that’s the way it was in the old days.