Things that you never or almost never see anymore, but have heard about and thought “Gee, too bad they don’t do that anymore”.
My entry is Caroling: The Christmas equivalent of Trick or Treat, where people go door to door singing Christmas favorites and getting a refreshment as a reward (hot chocolate for kids, maybe something a bit stonger for adults ). Of course this would only work if you could NUKE NUKE NUKE the omnipresent canned music you hear everywhere at Christmas. Which is probably why it died out to begin with.
Another Christmas possibility would be the F-You stocking gift, to express our opinion of people we don’t like. It used to be coal, but if I understand correctly that was meant to be an insultingly cheap and utilarian “gift”. Maybe plain cotton underwear would be the modern version.
(You know, I get the impression Christmas wasn’t always a “joy and light” holiday. Witness the tradition of “Christmas ghost stories”, which inspired A Christmas Carol. More like Halloween actually )
How about betrothal? I don’t know what exactly it’s purpose was, or why it died out. But maybe it would be fine for formalizing a live-together arrangement. Sort of “We’re going to get married and start a family, as soon as his oversea assignment is done and I finish my internship”.
How about the old cinema tradition of cartoons and a newsreel? It could be done again if theaters move to digital projection, and can splice in cable channel feed. Maybe five minutes of CNN headlines before the main feature?
Many groups in my city do still go caroling at Christmas. The choir director of my own church organizes groups to go out the week before Christmas, and although we do concentrate on visiting home-bound church members and nursing homes, we also go door to door in the immediate neighborhood of the church.
My church choir has been doing this for years. We wander around the neighbouring streets at night, singing our repertoire. Everyone loves it. Of course, it’s easier for us because it’s summertime and the evenings are light and warm.
Yes! We must bring this back! I’ve got to hear a theater full of people singing
“I’ll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weed”
One custom that I’d like to see start up is the habit of sending a mod some chocolate whenever s/he does something as requested. Hey, we don’t get paid, you know!
I think I could do without the carolers at Christmas. I’m an athiest, and I sleep odd hours, so I don’t like random people showing up at my doorstep, wanting me to interact with them…especially if it means I have to have the door open for any length of time (my Siamese cat is an escape artist, and has delusions that she can take on the neighborhood dogs) and I don’t like to be involved in religious ceremonies.
I’d love to see cartoons preceding a movie, though. Heck, I remember when it was customary to show a cartoon and TWO movies for the price of an admission. Of course, that was back when theaters only had one screen, and usually only one or two showings of each movie per day. I doubt that the theaters will ever go back to showing some freebies, not when they can show ads instead. I also wish that theaters would use coconut oil for their popcorn again, instead of the stuff that’s healthier, but doesn’t taste as good.