Local Traditions Slowly Returning

by Timothy Niemann

line.orange.700Local Traditions Slowly Returning         
• Family and community traditions are slowly making a comeback.

A year ago during the holiday season, Los Angeles County restaurants were closed to in-person diners, schools were still completely virtual, and there was very little tourism. After that unprecedented and bewildering holiday season, families will appreciate their typical traditions a lot more this season.
Most families have rituals during the holiday season. Whether it be gathering at someone’s house, going to a particular restaurant, or going to mass at a particular time, these events, which at one time seemed routine, were all off the table last year.
With the decline of COVID-19 cases and the rollout of vaccines throughout the year, this holiday season will look very similar to that of years past, and very unlike the winter of last year.
Families appreciate these rituals a lot more after a year like 2020. It was easy to take certain annual routines for granted. After all, before 2020, practically nobody knew of a Thanksgiving or Christmas in which they couldn’t celebrate without restrictions. It’s now been 24 months since a normal Christmas holiday.
For many, this most recent Thanksgiving was one of the first moments of realizing that things are mostly back to normal. Family members of all ages were able to gather in the same household for a holiday centered around the family. Christmas will likely be a very similar feeling to Thanksgiving. It could be a reminder of what life was like before the life-changing pandemic.
Tourism may be the biggest difference between this holiday season and the last. Over Thanksgiving, air travel was up about 85 percent compared to last year, according to the Transportation Security Administration. The Auto Club predicts that an astounding 109 million Americans will travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. That number nearly matches the pre-pandemic record of 119 million holiday travelers in 2019.
Another one of the most drastic changes between the 2002 and 2021 holiday seasons is the fact that students are back in school. Children are learning in the presence of their friends; they will be able to celebrate the arrival of winter break together.
Separated by just one year, these two holiday seasons will be starkly different than one another. And nearly everybody will be more grateful for the rituals and traditions that they have loved for many years. Christmas and the rest of the holiday season will be normal again.

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