In this essay I will be discussing family traditions and the reasons behind them. I have noticed that family traditions have evolved and adapted in order to suit the modern day. Media influence has also had an effect on what families do on Christmas day and around the festive season. Many families have the same traditions, or slightly altered versions of them, even when the families do not have any connection. This could be because of the media influence, upbringing, religion and circumstances. I will now look at a few traditions that occur over the Christmas period.
One family tradition at Christmas is that there is a roast dinner that includes a turkey, sprouts and other seasonal vegetables. In the past Goose was served on Christmas Day, however today turkey is the meat of choice. The reason for this is that turkey is more affordable but still big enough to feed a large family. Sprouts are also a staple item on a Christmas dinner; this is due to the fact that they are in season in December. These circumstances have caused eating sprouts and turkey to become a Christmas tradition in the UK.
On Christmas Day it is tradition for families to play games together. Spending time playing games with the family on Christmas Day might be because there were new games brought for Christmas to play. Christmas Day often means that the family is together as there are no distractions, such as shops or pubs open. Families are also brought together with the tradition of present giving which comes from the Christian story of the Three Wise Men giving gifts to baby Jesus. At Christmas we give gifts to loved ones, go out of our way to deliver them and spend time with those people.
Families also tend to watch films on Christmas Day and around the festive period. This is a tradition influenced by the media as many channels put on classic Christmas films that engage the whole family. They might be old classic films such as A Christmas Carol, or they might be a new family animation that has humor to entertain both adults and children, such as Frozen.
Putting up a Christmas tree is a tradition that dates back to 1841 in England when Queen Victoria’s husband brought back a fir tree from Germany. The couple and their children were pictured standing by the tree with presents stacked under it. After this, Christmas tree decorating became a fashion. Today families put up their trees around 2 weeks before Christmas and hang decorations and lights on it. Some families make decorations for the tree where as others buy sets that fit the theme of their house.
Whilst families may have their own take on the family traditions, they all have similar reasons for why they do them. For example, shops and pubs being closed causes families to stay in and be together, where they then watch films and play games that they received as gifts. Some traditions have changed slightly over the years, such as when people used to eat goose at Christmas, however most families adopted the new tradition due to the circumstances of the price of turkey.
Traditions such as the Christmas tree came from a combination of history and fashion. Today families have adapted the tradition by having artificial trees instead of real ones in an effort to save money with a reusable tree and save the earth.