My Life of Tradition
I showed up to an Enrichment night (formerly called Homemaking) one December a couple of years back, to find that the theme was Family Traditions. In my arrogance, I was insulted that no one consulted me for input. My family is full of traditions and fun.
I was soon humbled by the wonderful family traditions that the scheduled speakers shared. Considering the season, many were centered around Christmas. One talked about her family gathering for Chili before going out caroling (that would be a stinky car-ride). One spoke about traditions she was putting into place for the first time that year, but would carry on in the future, like reading “Three Trees” each Christmas Eve.
One other that really touched me was a family taking M&Ms each year when they went up into the mountains to pick out their Christmas tree. This tradition started many years before, when the oldest child was just 2 years old, her and her young parents set out to find the perfect tree. These parents were horrified when they realized she had gotten away from them and frantically looked for her. They soon found a trail of M&Ms that would eventually lead them to their girl.
These may seem simple, but I see them as traditions full of love and something one could depend on.
JP and I adore our family and possess a lot of family pride. Some of our family traditions are huge productions, like the pomegranate jelly and raviolis JP mentioned earlier this week. But as I learned on that Enrichment night, the simple traditions are wonderful too. I love that my younger brothers have carried on Grampa K.’s tradition of Swedish pancakes. I cherish the tradition of re-taking the 5 Generation picture when a baby is born into our crazy brood. Although, that one leans more towards huge production rather than simple tradition.
As a wife and mom I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with even more tradition. I love my husband’s family and the fun times I have with them at the holidays. Papa always bears his testimony on Christmas Eve and get very emotional when he tells us how much he loves us. Grandma & Grampa W. always have huge, huge quantities of candy for all the grandkids at Easter.
These traditions, these memories, these character-building moments are what shape us into grown-ups turn husbands and wives turn parents. Our duty now is to make them happen. We can’t get too busy or use geography as an excuse. We have to make them happen.