Why holiday traditions are a big deal for many (and how to manage)

Christmas and other religious or cultural traditions have taken on a very dominant role over the holiday period.

From smells and tastes, to sights and sounds, holiday traditions have become important signifiers explains behavioural psychologist Dr Helgo Schomer.

We tie a huge amount of meaning to memories called sensory information. Out brain loves ritual with a lot sensory information.

Dr Helgo Schomer, behavioural psychologist

Dr Schomer advises that human traditions are born out of the need for predictability and stability.

Whatever religion or belief system, all traditions tend to follow theses four elements:

  • strictly defined time and place
  • set features that do not change
  • set features that evolve
  • a great deal of symbols, meanings and memory

Schomer continues to explain that rituals create a sense of belonging, security, comfort and values, while also strengthening family bonds.

At the same time, he cautioned that people should behave in moderation in order to remain healthy and stable.

Here's how to cope if it gets overwhelming:

  • plan and delegate
  • understand that some family members won't participate in the same ways
  • be kind, flexible and sensitive
  • remember the spirit of the tradition
  • concentrate on the good and focus on the positive
  • be free to create your own unique rituals

Take a listen to Dr Schomer explain how traditions can provide cheer:


Read More
Tips to avoid festive season family feuds and chaos

Tips to avoid festive season family feuds and chaos

Festive season family get-togethers can be wonderful...or end in disaster. A clinical psychologist provides some words of wisdom.

Why do we overspend during Christmas?

Why do we overspend during Christmas?

Prof Pierre Joubert looks into the psychology around overspending during the festive and what can be done to avoid it.

3 markets to buy gifts these holidays

3 markets to buy gifts these holidays

Christmas markets are great places to shop this festive season and CapeTalk presenter Pippa Hudson rounds up the best of the best.

Braaing for Christmas? Celeb chef Pete Goffe-Wood has some pointers

Braaing for Christmas? Celeb chef Pete Goffe-Wood has some pointers

Celebrity chef Pete Goffe-Wood sure knows his way around the braai offers tips on how to prepare a Christmas meal over the fire.

Why family traditions matter

Why family traditions matter

Whether it's breaking bread or celebrating through song and dance, family rituals and traditions can create a sense of belonging.

Popular articles
Oscar's family unhappy with producers as movie makes SA debut this weekend

Oscar's family unhappy with producers as movie makes SA debut this weekend

The movie stars Joburg-born actor Andreas Damm as Pistorius and Victoria Secret model Toni Garrn as Reeva Steenkamp.

Statement to remove LLB programme from SA universities is misleading: Max Price

Statement to remove LLB programme from SA universities is misleading: Max Price

Max Price says Council on Higher Education's announcement that UKZN, UCT and UL could lose their LLB accreditation is not right.

DStv subscriber? ANN7 thanks you for the payday!

DStv subscriber? ANN7 thanks you for the payday!

Bruce Whitfield interviews Outa’s Wayne Duvenhage about his open letter to MultiChoice, who will pay ANN7 R245 million.

Is taking items from the hotel room stealing?

Is taking items from the hotel room stealing?

Tsogo Sun Cape regional manager explains which items are free to be taken home by guests and why.

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

Loo Me is a simple yet effective scented foam that takes the yuck out of "mellowing" toilets preventing multiple flushes.