The holiday season brings along with it some of the most cherished, time-honored, and unique traditions — many of which have been carried on for generations. Depending on where you live and how you choose to celebrate this time of year, the holidays can be acknowledged and celebrated in so many different ways. The holidays also offer businesses many unique and memorable ways to connect with the community, while also creating traditions that not only add to the holiday spirit, but create an exceptional amount of added revenue at the end of the year.
For business owners and consumers, you’re either looking to increase sales this time of year, or looking for places to gather and enjoy the spirit of the holidays with friends and family. Whichever describes your motivation for getting into the spirit, we had some fun exploring how the holiday season is celebrated across the United States, and wanted to share some of our favorite unique traditions that may inspire you and get you into the holiday spirit!
Traditions that topped the ‘unique’ list…
If you’re in a part of the world where snow or cold weather comes along with this time of year, you may incorporate thoughts of sleigh rides, winter clothes, and indulging in hot food and drinks around a crackling fire into your celebrations. But what about those located in warmer climates? Santa may just ride a surfboard instead of a sleigh, and holiday menus consist of lighter fare with outdoor dining.
And what about something as simple as a Christmas Tree? Is it an evergreen? A palm tree? Either way, traditional Christmas trees are a thing of the past, and we found a few that really caught our eye this year!
Chandler Arizona for example, spends the year collecting tumbleweeds from the outskirts of town and creates a giant tree made from them. The tree then becomes the center for celebration downtown. Another unique take on the tree is one that is assembled on Block Island. The tree is built each year from Lobster traps — 200 to be exact! And in upstate New York, you can find a tremendous tree at the Genesee Brewery in Rochester that’s made out of 430 beer kegs stacked high and wrapped in 2,000 feet of lights not far from the waterfall. Definitely holiday sights worth seeing!
Another celebration that’s fun for the whole family (if you live in Jacksonville Florida) is the Deck The Chairs celebration. The tradition is a fairly new one, starting in only 2013, but seems to grow each year with involvement, enthusiasm and tremendous creativity by those who design these spectacularly lit up lifeguard chairs.
New York is home to the 2 contenders for the World’s Largest Menorah. One is located across the street from the famed Plaza Hotel, the other sits at the top of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. With both measuring in at nearly the same size, the 32-foot high, 4,000-pound steel holiday icon is truly a remarkable site. Check out this website to see when you can visit each location for nightly lightings during the Hanukkah celebration.
Celebrate with food, and lots of it!
One of the most exciting ways to celebrate holiday traditions is through food—and nothing is off limits. Depending on your culture, you may dine on meals that have been a part of your family for generations, or you may get your friends together for a ‘potluck’ style meal and try a variety of different things.
No matter what you are dining on this holiday season, it does seem that there are some celebratory favorites depending on which state you reside in.
For example, if you live in the New England area, you might be familiar with Lumberjack Pie (a mashed potato crust filled with meats, onion, and cinnamon). If you are down south in Louisiana, Creole Gumbo is almost sure to be a part of your celebration. We personally think Hawaii’s Teriyaki marinated turkey sounds absolutely delicious, especially since it’s cooked over an outdoor pit. Check our more food ideas and recipes from around the country on this website!
Have fun with your food this holiday season. If you own your own restaurant or cafe and have the opportunity to provide your community with a seasonal favorite, it may be the perfect opportunity to add your business to their holiday tradition!
Dress to Impress!
A trend that seems to be gaining popularity and has become an almost expected part of the holiday season, is for people to wear the ugliest, most shocking and crazy sweaters to parties, family gatherings, and holiday events. We love that there is now even a national day for it! On the third Friday in December, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is celebrated. This could be a really fun opportunity to create some buzz around your business as well. Perhaps encourage your staff to all dress in fun, ugly, outrageous holiday attire. You could also create a fun competition and offer prizes to customers who come in dressed to celebrate. Perhaps even host an “Ugly Sweater Party” of your own and capture some fun opportunities for Social Media promotion!
Games and More!
Holidays are all about gathering friends and family together, so why not do so over some fun holiday-themed games?
Hanukkah comes earlier in December this year; ever consider hosting a dreidel competition? Encourage your customers to compete for Hanukkah gelt, free items from your business, or a discount off the bill!
If it allows for it, a holiday-themed game of Pictionary could be fun at a themed game night at your business. Or keep it simple by running contests to “guess how many” candy canes, ornaments, marshmallows, etc. are in the big jar. The closest winner earns a sweet prize! Remember to promote it on social media!
Games and fun traditions don’t have to take tremendous effort or time to create and execute – the key is to spread the word to friends, family and to your community so all can join in on the fun. The goal during the holidays for any business is to become a special part of people’s lives and traditions year after year.
We hope our Ordereze family & friends have a wonderful, prosperous, and healthy holiday season. Until next year!