Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, or Halloween, every country celebrates the holiday season. Often, it’s an opportunity to get the family together and celebrate. Seeing family at Thanksgiving or making traditional family recipes can create lifelong memories. Grandma’s secret recipes are often a staple at family gatherings, no matter where you are, and Christmas traditions from around the world involve favorite seasonal foods, usually eaten with family and close friends.
Every country has its own holiday traditions, and at Cadence Living we love to celebrate these traditions with our residents. Holiday traditions in the United States often include family Thanksgiving movies or Christmas carols. But what about other traditions around the world?
Christmas Traditions in Germany
Your Christmas celebrations may have more multicultural roots than you realize. Some of our most beloved traditions — including Christmas trees and Advent calendars — originated in Germany. But some Christmas traditions in Germany may be unfamiliar to U.S. residents. These include Krampusnacht, the night where a horned creature terrifies children who have misbehaved (perhaps even scarier than when Halloween takes over American homes).
Meanwhile, obedient children don’t hang up Christmas stockings — instead, they polish their boots and leave them outside on the night of December 5 in hopes of small rewards. Saint Nicholas, Krampusnacht’s traditional partner who rewards the well-behaved children rather than torturing the mischievous ones, is said to fill the boots with pieces of candy, nuts, or other small treats, to be discovered by the children in the morning.
Christmas traditions in Germany go back hundreds of years, and senior family members get to watch their grandchildren take part in the same traditions they enjoyed in their own childhood. These traditions help tie generations together and make memories that last a lifetime.
Christmas Traditions in Argentina: Maria’s Story
Christmas weather in Argentina is warm, as the holiday there falls near the beginning of summer. The celebrations begin during the Catholic season of Advent, kicking off on December 8 (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and continuing until nearly a month later on January 6 (Epiphany, or the Day of Kings). Christmas Traditions in Argentina focus strongly on Christmas Eve, which can look a lot like New Year’s celebrations in other countries, with fireworks and a midnight toast. As the nation is predominantly Catholic, many Argentinians also attend midnight mass late on Christmas Eve, to kick off Christmas day surrounded by friends and family in a dark church filled with candles.
One Tribute at Black Hill resident, Maria L., grew up in Argentina. Since fir trees aren’t widely available in Argentina during the summer, her family would order Christmas trees from the US. Growing up Catholic, Maria remembers Christmas traditions in Argentina being similar to those she now experiences here in Virginia. In addition to the Christmas trees, her family would cook and eat Italian-style dishes. One core theme has remained throughout every Christmas celebration, regardless of where she has lived or who she has been with: the holidays are an important chance to celebrate with the family together.
Christmas Traditions in Mexico
Ever wished you could celebrate Christmas for more than one day? Christmas traditions in Mexico include celebrations known as posadas, which run from December 16 until December 24, leading up to Christmas Day. For nine nights in a row, a procession of children and adults will stop at different houses in the neighborhood, reenacting the journey of Mary and Joseph to the inn at Bethlehem. Hosts will deny the procession entrance several times before finally admitting the group. A celebration follows, including a religious service, food, and piñatas. This centuries-old practice may include elements from traditions for the winter solstice, which were eventually incorporated into Christmas traditions in Mexico.
Family and community are central to Christmas traditions in Mexico. Posadas and other celebrations take place in a vibrant community atmosphere where family and friends celebrate together night after night. Older and younger generations can eat together, worship together, and share stories as they spend time with loved ones amid Christmas festivities.
Cadence at Olney: Christmas Traditions and Tree Farms
One beloved Christmas tradition in the northern hemisphere is heading to a Christmas tree farm to pick out a tree. It’s a great opportunity to get the family together and make a day out of going to the farm, picking out the tree, cutting and trimming it, and then heading back to the house to decorate the tree and drink hot chocolate.
Cadence at Olney has a long history with this Christmas tradition. Built on land that was formerly a Christmas tree farm, it continues the tradition of Christmas tree decoration and display in a new way. This year, Cadence at Olney will again host a Festival of Trees as a fundraiser for Olney Help, an organization that provides food and financial assistance to people in the community. Local companies, such as Remembering Rose Dementia Care Education and Consultations, MarketPro HomeBuyers, and Mathnasium of Olney, sponsor and display their Christmas trees, which often have a theme, and visitors can bid on or buy the trees. On December 9th and 10th from 6:00-8:00pm, members of the public are welcome to drive through and enjoy this beautiful holiday forest, as well as a choir, cookies, hot cocoa, and pictures with Santa.
Whether you want to enjoy time with your family at Thanksgiving or make new friends and learn about other holiday and Christmas traditions from around the world, you’ll find a vibrant community at Cadence Living. You’re invited to learn about available services, including independent living, assisted living, Cadence CONNECTIONS care, memory care, and more. We offer a full-service approach that includes both social and physical activities to help our residents enjoy thriving lifestyles. Call today to schedule a tour in one of our modern aging communities and talk to one of our caregiving experts.