A Lord of the Rings marathon.
A re-read of the Harry Potter series.
More recently, going to see the latest Star Wars film more times than one hand can count. (You know who you are.)
How about Sherlock? (IT’S COMING! IT’S COMING! IT’S FINALLY COMING!)
Or the Doctor Who Christmas special?
For some reason, December, particularly the time around Christmas and New Year’s, seems to draw a special interest that results in traditions centered around our favorite fandoms.
Sci-fi and fantasy movies come out—Star Wars and the Hobbit Trilogy to name a few. We return to the well-worn paths of stories we know and love, eager to rekindle the flame of excitement we still have.
My family doesn’t have a ton of traditions. We’ve done the LotR marathon before—who hasn’t? We watched the Hobbit movies each year they came out.
A couple years ago, BBC ran a Doctor Who marathon between Christmas and New Year’s. I’d never seen Doctor Who before, but that marathon was my first taste of the Whovian universe. First Tenant, than Smith. Oh the glorious discovery. After that, I’ve never returned to the ordinary drudgery.
Some of the typical traditions I mentioned beg the question, why? Why read books you know inside and out? Why re-watch a movie you’ve seen so many times you could quote half the lines verbatim?
I think it speaks to the powerful nature of storytelling. Though the details of the story itself may become so ingrained in our minds that it offers nothing new or exciting, the truths woven throughout remain timeless.
Such is our motivation in returning to stories we love. We seek their continual reminders of truth, love, sacrifice—whatever themes resonate with us. We return to the well of story to find refreshment and courage to face the future.
Because in our favorite stories, if one thing stands out above the rest, it’s the way in which they remind us of our story. Of our quests and villains, guides and sidekicks, defeats and triumphs.
So here’s to another year of fandom traditions that point us toward those moments and capture our imaginations all over again.
Let’s get a conversation started. What are some of your fandom traditions for this time of year?