Holiday Traditions – Some Old, Some New

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Holiday Stroll in Ridgefield, CT
Holiday Stroll in Ridgefield, CT. Photo by Esha Samajpati. All rights reserved ©

How long do we have to do something until it becomes a tradition? I would say it’s more about the feeling than the duration. And like everything else in life, traditions should adapt to the changing times. I see that a lot in India these days. New way of doing old things, making them a touch more relatable, and a lot more fair.

All over the world, now’s the time for traditions. As the nights get colder, and the days shorter, people gather around to celebrate. Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and of course, Christmas. Did you know that Icelanders have this tradition built around gifting and reading books on Christmas Eve? Throw in a cozy fireplace and a hot cup of cocoa, and there you have it – my kind of celebration.

Books on the Common in Ridgefield, CT
Books on the Common in Ridgefield, CT. Photo by Esha Samajpati. All rights reserved ©

Taking a page out of their hygge-filled Scandinavian book, we have made our very own, rather new, but quite simple holiday tradition. We hop over to Ridgefield during their holiday stroll.

Ridgefield is one of those New England towns that is the right amount of charming during the holiday season, complete with pretty red bows tied neatly around colonial lamp posts. Take a peek at last year’s stroll and you will know what I am talking about.

We walk down the street, listening to carols and admiring the ice sculptures. Then we pop into Books on the Common and spend a good amount of time browsing in the warmth. During checkout, I love how they slip in their branded black-and-white bookmark, which has this quote from Erasmus – “When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”

Before heading back, we stop at Prime Burger for their specials. Our elementary-school-goer rarely looks up from his newly-acquired book, while we enjoy the Prime Sauce and onion rings. This year was special, as our nine-month-old baby joined us for a bite. Between streams of excited babbling, he let us know that he didn’t mind being a part of this whole stroll-sing-read-eat-drink venture. In fact, he quite enjoyed it.

Ridgefield's Holiday Stroll
Ridgefield’s Holiday Stroll. Photo by Esha Samajpati. All rights reserved ©

This has been a year of packing and moving, and at the same time, getting to know a brand new member of the family, one whose dimples make those sleepless nights seem alright. Anybody who has ever moved will tell you how much of a hassle moving is, especially with a baby, but we have been lucky enough to stay in the same locality, enjoying the familiar, sometimes with the air of a curious out-of-towner.

During a year as busy as this one, it’s the small moments that count. The slow ones. The ones that don’t require a lot of planning or traveling. Moments that create new traditions.

How can traditions be “new” you say? I believe that traditions can be whatever we want them to be.

So, what “new traditions” are you making this holiday season?

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