Why we celebrate the holidays with family

Birthdays. Weddings. And of course, Christmas and New Year’s. Celebrations like these aren’t defined by material goods or how much money is being spent. Instead, they rely upon the guest list. It’s been that way since the beginning of recorded time.


Dating all the way back to our tribal ancestors, humankind has celebrated with loved ones when marking a special occasion. The Egyptians gathered with family during annual harvests, elaborate coronations were attended by droves of common families during the Middle Ages; the list goes on and on throughout history. What makes occasions special is the sharing of a meaningful experience, and there’s nobody we’d rather share them with than those closest to our hearts.


It’s in our DNA

The human species is hard-wired to honour significant moments in life. These moments are experienced with family because they’re the people we spend most of our “normal” moments with, and therefore the special moments seem even more significant by comparison.


It adds more meaning to our lives

We celebrate the holidays with family because it elevates our sense of purpose. Participating in the traditions of Christmas or New Year’s gives us the motivation to exceed past experiences and expectations. Life is more meaningful with these kinds of milestones.


It creates beautiful memories

“Remember that one Christmas when…?” Chances are, when your family gets together for the holidays, memories are recalled and shared at the same time new ones are being mad, to visit and revisit whenever we want.


It’s our way of passing down our personal history

Every family has their own holiday traditions. Many set up a Christmas tree, but when and how they do it differs per household. Does your family open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Do you eat turkey or ham for holiday dinner? We celebrate with family because it’s our way of passing down traditions from generation to generation. It reminds us that while we may only be on this Earth for a short while, a hundred years later we will have left something of ourselves behind. We live on through our personal customs.

For all of these reasons, the holidays just aren’t the same without our family surrounding us. As the quote goes, “The best gift around the Christmas tree is the presence of family wrapped in love.