Time to Start New Traditions

Katie Hayward, Reporter

There are a wide variety of holiday traditions; some of them are incredibly disturbing and others have rich, cultural histories. Should we still teach young children that an old man watches them all the time? When instead, they could be learning about culture?

There are millions of Christmas traditions around the world, and the most popular, by far, is the tradition of Santa Claus/St. Nicholas.  Mr. Claus is supposed to be a fictional character who is made to bring children presents for Christmas. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Wrong! That’s how the tale started. But as the years went on and on, more jingles and tales were created about Mr. Claus. 

Some of the most popular, yet disturbing, jingles and tales are as follows: he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. Keep in mind that Santa Claus is 1,750 years old, and referred to as “OLD saint Nick”. 

If that’s not enough to give you the creeps, then maybe you should consider the fact that he calls you naughty, and has the ability to put your child on a naughty list. He is preaching that your child behaves in just such a way or else!  That can negatively impact how a child views themself. 

Lastly, think about the aspect of you lying to your kids. Usually, parents raise their children to never lie and always tell the truth. Meanwhile, those parents are lying right to their faces about a fictional, old, creepy man.

Rightfully, you should be thinking right now, “Wow, are there any other traditions that should be done away with?” Well, I’ve got another terrible tradition for you. 

The elf on the shelf tradition is yet another holiday tradition I hope to see gone immediately. The elf on the shelf is another example of parents lying to their kids. The elf is spying on your kids to report their behavior to Santa Claus. If your child is bad, the risk is that their Christmas presents will be sacrificed, and they instead will receive a lump of coal. 

As I stated earlier about Santa Claus, it’s another tradition that supports putting your child down for messing up or misbehaving. I’m not saying that children should not receive proper punishment for acting up, but bribery can’t be the best option.

They should receive discipline, but is hiding a stuffed toy around your house to spy on your kids and telling them they are bad a good punishment? The elf on the shelf should be gone along with Santa.

Now, on that troubled note, I have a great, underrated, German, Christmas tradition! It is called the Christmas pickle. 

The Christmas pickle has been around since as early as the 1880’s. German stores started selling glass, pickle ornaments around the holidays. Millions of families would purchase this pickle, which began a culturally rich and entertaining game. 

The game was that parents would hide the pickle somewhere in the tree on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas morning, all of the children would look for this pickle. Whoever found the pickle first would either get to open an extra present or get to open the first present.

This game is super fun and can get very competitive, but it’s a great alternative instead of lying to your kids about a made up old man who stalks you. Or teaching them about a spying elf who reports all your bad behavior to the creepy, old man.

So, this year is your opportunity to do away with dated, old traditions, and instead, try something new–like the Christmas Pickle.