In nearly every civilization throughout history people have celebrated holidays. As you probably already know many of our modern Western holidays, Christmas included (hey there winter solstice and Saturnalia), are just revamped versions of old pagan celebrations.
In fact, for years Christian prophets vehemently condemned the idea of bringing a tree or piece of greenery into the home because it was a purely pagan practice. Even wreaths and laurels predate Christianity and have pagan roots, and English puritans railed against “heathen traditions” like decorating the home and singing carols. It just goes to show that traditions are really hard to kill, and why not?! Traditions are fun!
These silly little holiday traditions have outlasted several widely believed religions and I think it’s kind of awesome that way before any modern conception of religion or culture people were grabbing bits of branches to make their little homes look prettier during the dark season. I’m sure that hundreds of years from now when everyone believes in flying spaghetti monsters people will still be carefully hanging garlands and baking cookies during Holiday. Of course, the original purpose of most pagan holidays was to keep people happy by giving them an outlet to indulge and to mark important agricultural and harvest occasions. Holidays were essentially a way to highlight certain times of year before calendars were widespread and I think they’re fantastic!
I love the way holidays give people a reason to make things extra special at home. Holidays are a goldmine for frugal fun because so much of the enjoyment is in quirky traditions. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that you’d be hard pressed to find a more frugal friendly time of year. There are loads of cheap and free events around the holidays; from live music and theatre to walking around to look at decorations and displays. Baking cookies, hosting friends, listening to music, building a fire (if you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace), decorating your home, cooking special dishes, making apple cider, sledding, walking through snow covered parks, sending out cards, and watching your favorite holiday movies are all frugal and fun ways to make the most of the season and honor traditions that span borders and eras.