holiday traditions

My family (much to my mother's annoyance) somehow avoided creating any real/lasting family traditions associated with the holidays. The one thing we stood firm on, as a family, was the Thanksgiving Dinner menu, and the one thing I've done each year since I was eight was read (or, now, re-read) the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Luckily, with all of the traveling I've done over various holidays, it's a fairly light-weight tradition and comes in handy on long plane flights or waits for trains.
I realize that this may not be a traditional holiday-type tradition, mainly because it is both solitary and anti-social (at least until you start talking about the books with others), but something about re-reading books (and these books in particular) has always helped me de-stress and renew my outlook on life.
I am not going to argue that they are great literature--although they are wonderful and important stories. But the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are prime examples of novels that take you somewhere else. I enjoy reading all sorts of books, but when I want and need a rest, fiction that takes me somewhere recognizably not my home helps me the most. Chick-lit agitates me (I usually get all grumbly and aggravated with the characters/or spend all of my time guessing which Jane Austen they are imitating now) and non-fiction (however interesting I find it when I am in the mood to read it) often, by its very subject, depresses me: Tolkien, and others like him, create worlds real enough to fall into but dissimilar from the world that currently contains all of the stresses of life.
When I leave the world of middle-earth, I feel better able to deal with the real world surrounding me. I haven't (necessarily) learned any great lessons or thought deep philosophical thoughts, but I have relaxed and thought of something else: sometimes exactly the break my mind and body needs.