Which celebrations do you partake in during the holidays? Do you light a menorah or decorate a tree? Are these traditions handed down through generations or blended with those of loved ones?  Are family customs religious rituals or ethnic practices? Seniors are rich in tradition, as the past is recalled, and the hope for a continuance of tradition made hopeful.


In our neighbor to the south, Mexico, Christmas is celebrated from December 12th to January 6th with “Posadas,” or nativity re-enactments of the biblical search for an inn. Luminarias light the way. When a place to stay is found, everyone is invited inside, and the party begins.

Father Christmas

Children in England hang stockings for Father Christmas to fill and often leave him small mince pies. December 25th is Christmas, while the 26th is Boxing Day, basically a good day to eat leftovers and shop for bargains. Interestingly enough, the United Kingdom has had Christmas banned several times over centuries, but it has been celebrated “legally” since 1958.

Saint Nicolas Day

Saint Nicholas Day, December 5th,  is observed in certain Western European nations (Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Spain…) The night before children leave their shoes outside the front door, hoping to find them filled with toys, nuts, and fruit in the morning. Unmarried women in Italy attend a special mass on St. Nicholas Day, participating in Rito delle nubile, circling a column seven times in order to find luck capturing a spouse.

Hanukkah Celebrations

Hanukkah, a Jewish celebration, typically falls during Christian holidays and has rituals going back centuries. The Menorah, as important as a nativity scene, symbolically holds eight candles. One is lit each day of Hanukkah while scripture is read, and hymns sung.  The eight days of Hanukkah represent a time in the Old Testament when eight days of darkness culminated in light.

Kwanzaa Celebrations

Kwanzaa originated in 1966 and is an African American/ Pan-African holiday celebrating history, values, family, community, and culture. Observed from December 26th to January 1st, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but instead a time to celebrate human values.

Bridge to Better Living celebrates Seniors. Gifts are important this time of year and our best gift is your “presence.” Join us in the celebrations for Quality of Life and successful Senior Living transitions by contacting Bridge to Better Living today. Oh, and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Heri za Kwanzaa! Remember, if you put shoes outside the front door, make sure it isn’t raining or snowing!