Ever since I can remember as a child, Christmas has been a magical occasion for not only me, but all of my piers and family. However unfortunately, I must admit that over the past few years, it is obvious to me that the much loved magic that makes this time of the year special is slowly fading. Now, “Why is this?” you may ask. Having asked many similar questions myself, I have discovered that one of the primary causes of this is the not only essential, but also inevitable commercialisation of our society.


I am not writing to undermine this process of commercialisation, but to merely comment on its impactful effect on the meaning and wonder of Christmas, a celebration looked forward to by many every year. Every single household has their different Christmas traditions, and it is these traditions that make this time of year so exciting something to look forward to. But now, as I am sure many of you also do, when I think of Christmas, I no longer picture this image of school plays about Jesus’ birth, but the most recent Coca-Cola advert. This is neither a good nor a bad thing, and there is no denying that these modernised adverts always manage to bring either a smile or a tear to my face, but it does make me wonder about how I can make sure that my true meaning of Christmas doesn’t escape my grasp.


Especially today, in this ever-changing world that we live in, tradition is important to remember your roots and to celebrate a special time with loved ones. This is the case for me and how I enjoy my Christmas but of course, the definition of tradition is different for everyone. However, what I can be certain of, is that tradition is what holds people together, an essential for this time of the year. Not only this, but it is something that people can spend all year waiting for, something unique and individual for every different family and household.


For me, this tradition is Polish, and is called ‘Wigilia’. Although it is not individual to our family, carried out on Christmas Eve by many other Polish families, the way in which we celebrate it is, filled with different games and different spins on the actual ceremony. 12 different courses of food such as the traditional ‘Pierogi’ (filled dumplings) or ‘Borscht’ (beetroot soup) are served and enjoyed by everyone attending and each year, this is simply what I look forward to most. 


The key message that I am trying to convey is that, amongst all the changes, drama and chaos that occurs in our day-to-day lives, it is important to remember where we came from and who we love, as well as exploring our individuality through any means possible. In a simply put way, this can be covered by exploring our meaning of the word ‘tradition’.