Perhaps for your family it is Hanukkah, Ashura, Bodhi Day or Kwanzaa. There are many special or religious holidays in December from a variety of traditions. Even among the Christian faiths there are so many different traditions around the world and among different denominations. All these traditions share in common the desire to give people a way to connect to and express their internal values.
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All
My husband is from Australia, and they share gifts on Boxing Day, which is Dec. 26th. A few years ago I decided to do some research about how people celebrate December holidays around the world, and especially about the origins of various Christmas traditions that we see today. As I did this my daughter became quite interested, especially when she found the Swedish story of St. Lucia.
Throughout Sweden, the eldest daughter in each household comes to her sleeping parents on Christmas morning, dressed in a long white gown tied with a red sash, and wearing a crown of lingonberry leaves in which are set seven lighted candles. In her hands she carries a tray of steaming hot coffee and "Lussekattor" (saffron buns). The procession includes her sisters and brothers also dressed in white, holding lighted candles, and singing of the light and joy of Christmas.
We were all sleeping in the guest room at my mother's house. Imagine our surprise waking up to our daughter with flames on her head, and a steaming tray in her hands, singing Christmas carols. Her older brother rolled on the floor laughing, and her baby brother began to cry. I was afraid that the flaming crown was going to fall off so I grabbed the tray to put it on the night stand.
It was her way of expressing love and creating a joyous Christmas spirit. (Thank God the house didn't burn down.) Feel free to share a special holiday tradition or story of your own in a comment below.