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Fixation Friday: Holiday Traditions

This week's trending topic of exploration

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • November 23, 2023

Fixation Friday is what has our customers ticking this week! In this new blog series, we explore a trending topic and the different paths it takes. This week, we're dissecting the topic of Holiday Traditions and shining a light on some of the ways this theme shapes our lives.

Culinary traditions

One of the first things that comes to mind when we think about the holidays is all the yummy foods we're going to enjoy. There are, of course, whole cookbooks dedicated to specific holidays, but year after year, holiday after holiday, we find ourselves reaching for The Joy of Cooking, which always seems to have what we need.

Of course, our culinary traditions are strongly impacted by our cultural backgrounds as well and there are tons of exciting cookbooks highlighting cuisines from across the cultural spectrum. Here are just a few we're enjoying:


Receiving gifts is fun, but for many of us, the true joy of the holidays comes from seeing the delight on the faces of our loved ones when they open the gifts we give them. Revisiting stories like The Gift of the Magi and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are lovely ways to remind our young'uns (and ourselves) of the pleasure inherent in giving to others.

One of the stories we love about generosity is Pearl Buck's Christmas Day in the Morning about a young farm boy on Christmas Eve trying to think of the perfect Christmas gift for his father. The Elves and the Shoemaker is another fun tale demonstrating the deep satisfaction in both giving and receiving.

Second chances

For many of us the holiday cheer can belie a certain sense of melancholy. Perhaps we are missing someone from our past as in One Last Gift by Emily Stone. Like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, we may be reflecting on mistakes or misdeeds from our past and wish for a shot at redemption. This could explain why we are seeing that stories about second chances are popular this time of year.

Some of these stories have a magical component, like the time-loop storyline found in Christina Lauren's In a Holidaze. In The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, this takes the form of an enchanted library that allows patrons to explore different paths their lives might have taken.

But many second-chance tales are realistic stories about people who have suffered loss or heartbreak, but get another chance at happiness like Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand or Never Again Good-Bye by Terri Blackstock.         

Cultural traditions

Christmas tends to dominate the season, but there are several beloved cultural traditions being recognized and celebrated this time of year. Whether you're wanting to learn more about them or add to your own celebrations, here are some lovely picture books about the many holidays of the season.


From The Nutcracker to Die Hard, holiday entertainment can take all forms. Many families are thrilled to return to their favorite holiday movies every year. They never get old! Classic choices include It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, and Elf.

Some of the movies we choose don't even have anything to do with the holidays like The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.

We can even pair our refreshments with our choice of entertainment with these pop culture-inspired cookbooks:

That's it for our first Fixation Friday. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Any holiday traditions you'd like to share?

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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