From The






From The


Turning Traditions

My mom loved the idea of Santa Claus bringing presents for me and my siblings. So every year on Christmas Eve, I would help my six younger siblings set out milk and cookies for Santa, carrots and celery for the reindeer, and get to bed nice and early. Once they were asleep, my two older siblings and I would get to work. And by that, I mean becoming Santa’s helpers.

My mom would bring out all of the gifts for my siblings, and I would begin wrapping everything (except the ones for me, of course). I would wrap all night long until about 2:00 am, and once the stockings were stuffed and the presents laid out under the tree, I would head to bed…only to be woken up about an hour later to my younger brothers and sisters shaking me in my bed and exclaiming “Santa came last night!”

With tired eyes, I would roll out of bed and lay down on the couch, watching cartoons and falling back asleep in the room filled with magic. I would sleep there until about 8:00 am when we would nudge my parents to wake up so that the unwrapping could begin.

Growing up, the magic was seeing the gifts perfectly wrapped under the tree, but as I got older, that changed. The magic was no longer about seeing all the colorful wrapping. Instead, it was seeing the joy on my siblings’ faces and knowing that I was a part of their bubbling happiness.

Today, that tradition has been left behind. I don’t have children to wrap for, or even siblings that believe in Santa Claus. Looking back, it was one of the most vivid family memories I have from Christmas, and now it is gone.

This made me start thinking about traditions and what they mean to different people. Personally, I don’t have any holiday traditions that I cling to each year, and as I’m sure we are all well aware, 2020 has changed a lot of these traditions as well.

But in complete honesty, the change in the air excites me a little bit. I am a very spontaneous person, so the idea of clinging to traditions that I don’t even understand half the time, stresses me out. The idea of change, now that is exciting. I remember a phrase I heard in high school that has always stuck with me; “make change a tradition.”

Thus, as I close out the tumultuous year, I am excited to start changing traditions and even making new ones. I’ve started by thinking about what the holiday season means to me. It’s not about baking cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, or even going to church on Sunday morning. It is a time for me to reflect on all the memories that brought me joy and the people that have impacted my life.

This year, that is what I will be focusing on. It’s time for me to create traditions that bring me happiness and give me the same glow that my younger brothers and sisters had when they woke me up on Christmas morning. It is a gift to think about this, and I am excited, I am hopeful, and I am grateful to still have the opportunity to do it.

*Leadership Lesson*

Take some time to reflect on the traditions you want to participate in this holiday season.

  • What are some existing traditions you want to try in a new way this year?
  • What are some new traditions you want to start this year?

Happy Holidays everyone!

*Meet the Author*

Gino graduated from UCSD with dual-bachelor degrees in Neuroscience and Physiology. He has been with Leadership Inspirations for 7 years, both as a former Leadership Academy Participant and Leadership Coach!

Favorite Quote: “Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fun Facts: 1) I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters 2) My favorite TV series is Parks and Recreation and I quote it all the time 3) I love baking! Cheesecakes are my favorite to make