Happy Holidays, Vibe Tribe!
I’m sure we can all agree that this year, the holidays hit a little bit differently. No matter what it is you celebrate, we have all had to make adjustments and adaptations to create a season of joy amidst confusion and uncertainty.
While your celebration may look different this year, we thought it was the perfect time to reflect on what it is that makes this season so special. So we asked our staff to share some of their favorite holiday memories and traditions.
For co-owner and Vibe Guide Kristine and her family, the holiday season traditionally involves a trip to Christmas Village in Center City Philadelphia. No trip is complete without a visit to a specific tent with German nutcrackers and incense smokers. Each year, the family chooses one new addition to their collection. So far, they have collected four. This year, the tent wasn’t open when the family visited the Christmas Village on its preview day, but they look forward to continuing the tradition in future years.
Kristine also shared with us a memory of a childhood tradition that played a part in making the holidays special as a child. “When I was younger, my mom would always take us to see Santa in New York City at Macy’s. We would go through the whole North Pole, like a Santa land that they had set up, and I remember always looking forward to it every Christmas.”
Power Fusion Guide Jess’s shared with us a beautiful memory of a family holiday tradition that might be familiar to some of you. Jess tells about visiting her Grandmother’s house every year on Christmas Eve for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. “It was so wonderful to have the entire family around the table to share in the delicious food and the excitement for the next day.”
Personal Trainer Melissa tells of a childhood tradition that she is continuing with her children. “My favorite memory is going to Koziar's Christmas Village in Bernville. My brother and I were allowed to take off our seatbelts as we came up over the hill so we could see all the lights.” It’s little things that make these memories so special, and it is those little things that Melissa is trying to pass on to her children. This year, to share the magic of the season and the spirit of the holidays, Melissa took it one step further, sharing her treasured tradition even further: “We paid for the family behind us, hopefully creating their lasting tradition.”
Barre Pump and Power Fusion instructor Tara also shared with us a treasured holiday tradition, and how she and her family have adjusted to incorporate it into this year. “My favorite memory is going with the boys and Chuck to watch the girls perform in Nutcracker. Although this year the show didn’t go on, we are still loving watching videos and looking at pics!” It is heartwarming to know that resilience and creativity are keeping the tradition alive!
For Vibe Guide Julia, the holidays always involve family and fun! “My favorite memory is going to my aunt’s Christmas party. Afterwards, we go to Peddler’s Village to look at the lights and get hot chocolate”
Power Fusion Guide Christy shares with us a beautiful family tradition that has been carried on for a full generation. “My mom started buying Christmas birds maybe 15 years ago. My siblings and I now have identical ‘bird trees’ and we look forward to our birds every year!” It is a special surprise that grows with the whole family as the years continue!
Barre, Barre Pump and 305 Vibe Guide Jen M also shared with us a family tradition that her family has been continuing and adapting over the generations. “My favorite Christmas memory / tradition is going over to my Pop-Pop’s (Dad’s Dad) house on Christmas Eve. He taught himself how to play the piano by ear, and he used to play to my Dad and his siblings (all 9 of them!) while they were growing up. My Dad also learned how to play. On Christmas Eve, we would all gather around the piano and sing while Pop-Pop played (not only Christmas Carols but show tunes and other classics). We used to also have a “talent show” with all the kids on Christmas Day. We did this all the way until he passed away 7 years ago. Since then, we have continued the tradition by hosting Christmas Eve at our house with all of my Dad’s sisters and brothers and our cousins. My brother, sister, cousins, and I have since taken over the piano playing responsibilities, and everyone still sings carols, show tunes, other classics, and performs inside joke skits as our ‘talents.’ There are a lot of laughs and also a lot of tears. Emotional, bittersweet, and celebratory of my Grandmother, Pop-Pop, and their beautiful family. It’s a night that’s really special and sacred to me. I’ll miss it this year, but I’m looking forward to this tradition returning in 2021. And I still love listening to my Dad play the piano. It has so much meaning to me. I could listen to it all day.”
For BEAT HIIT, Dance Fit and 305 Vibe Guide Nancy, the best part of the holidays is spending it at home with her husband and dog, Ginger. "My favorite memory is to be home by the warm fireplace, a cup of tea after dinner with my hubby and Ginger, and opening presents. I love to see the expression on his face when he opens his gifts!" It's all about fun, family and joy for Nancy!
For Community Coordinator Shelley, holiday traditions are all new, as she celebrates differently with her family than she did growing up. She is creating new traditions that she hopes will create lasting memories for her children as they grow. Her family’s favorite tradition is one that she learned from a friend based on a Swedish tradition (so she has been told). “Every year we build a gingerbread house. We have to have it put together by Christmas Eve. Then we wait - and don’t touch it until New Year’s Day! On New Year’s morning, as part of our breakfast, we smash the gingerbread house, releasing the joy and hope and luck of the holiday season into the new year.”
We know that this year looks different and that, for most of us, we will need to adjust how we celebrate the holidays. We hope that you take this as an opportunity to look back on what has brought you joy in the past, and to consider creating new traditions with your family - ones that continue to build hope and resilience, and that reflect what the season truly means to you.
What are your favorite holiday traditions, and how are you keeping the spirit of the season flowing this year? Let us know in the comments below!