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Besides being the title of a Hallmark-style movie, a nostalgic Christmas makes for the best kind of Christmas. But, why do we get nostalgic about Christmas in the first place? There are deep ties for many people to warm, fuzzy feelings during the holiday season, and there are deep psychological reasons why. 

Maybe not in 2020, but in typical years, the Christmas season is the time to gather, reconnect, celebrate and relive memories from years past. When we gather we share stories, give gifts and show pictures from years past. We remember and reflect and comment, “remember last Christmas when mom dropped the turkey and we ended up eating Chinese food?” What was an epic disaster at the time, is remembered with fondness and hilarity this year. Even from a distance, friends and relatives check in with warm greetings with Christmas cards, emails or phone calls. The holiday season is a time to reflect on what is and what was and that pause is usually defined by nostalgia. A wistful longing to past times, people and good memories is a mixture of both good and bad feelings. The good comes from the warm feelings of good memories, and the bad or longing comes from wishing those good times were still around. Sometimes our brains only remember the good parts, conveniently forgetting some of the specifics, tension or unfavorable parts of those memories. 

Music is another strong nostalgia force because music can instantly transport the mind to times, places and circumstances from the past. Lyrics tie the listener to the emotions tied to those memories. The same song can transport multiple people and generations at the same time. The Christmas Irving Berlin classic, “White Christmas,” sung by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney can remind Grandma of childhood, mom of watching it for the first time as a young girl and my sister of acting it out in the dining room. Music doesn’t only conjure up happy memories. A happy song has the power to transport a listener to sad times and memories as well. 

Record Player Ornament

It is thought that people who feel more nostalgia are people who feel emotions more intensely. They are not necessarily happier or sadder than other people, but they feel their emotions stronger than others. It’s also thought that nostalgic people have more good memories surrounding Christmas or other family holidays, rather than bad memories. It doesn’t necessarily correspond to how many gifts they received or parties they attended, but how much that person felt loved and cherished. Even if someone doesn’t tend to feel nostalgic on Christmas due to bad or painful childhood memories, they can establish new, positive holiday traditions and memories to avoid the hard ones. 

Fresh Gingerbread and Retro Ornaments

Old World Christmas thrives on nostalgia. We not only like to give a nod to the past with our heart-felt Ginger Cottages collection and dazzling vintage reflector ornaments, we like to think that each Christmas we’re starting new nostalgic traditions through our stunning Christmas ornaments. Our ornaments this year will be the ones your kids or grandkids will remember in 20 years. People will feel Christmas nostalgia for the traditions that start today, and we’re confident one of those traditions will be a dazzling Christmas tree decorated with all of the favorites.

April 15, 2021 by Rachael Mitchell

Written by

Rachael Mitchell

Rachael Mitchell is a freelance writer based in Seattle, Washington, and has over 15 years of writing experience. She’d never be able to pick just one favorite ornament, but narrowed it down to the S’more and Tennis Ball. She always looks forward to s’mores in the summer with friends and family adding gourmet ingredients, and played 4 years of college tennis in the mid-west.

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