I love traditions. They are a natural part of my life. They bring meaning and connections to my life. And I understand that they must change or die as time passes on.
What I don’t understand is people who insist on doing traditions they hate, who think there are certain “correct” traditions you have to do, or who can’t figure out how to make their own traditions.
When we got married we talked about the traditions we grew up with and modified a lot of them to be part of our new family. We have traditions we do that go back several generations. And we love them.
We also have traditions that are less than four years old. Traditions that started with just us. And we love those just as much.
We understand that traditions are something you do once and enjoy, and then you do it again. Presto! Tradition.
We have a Christmas tradition of going to the store the evening of Christmas Eve, agreeing to meet back at the front in half an hour, and then spending the next half hour avoiding each other in the store while buying stocking gifts for the other person. How did this start? Our first Christmas we hadn’t shopped for our stockings yet so I suggested we do it Christmas Eve with some gift cards we had from our wedding. We had so much fun doing it that year that we did it again the next year. Boom! Tradition.
Of course this tradition will need to be modified probably starting next year now that we have Iddo, but traditions are supposed to change to suit your situation and needs.
Another tradition we love – pre-Thanksgiving BBQ. This one started after we got our fire pit and had such a good time using it to BBQ during the summer and realized we still have great BBQ weather at the end of November here. So to kind of rub it in to our family that doesn’t have the same weather, we BBQ the day before Thanksgiving. We BBQ on New Year’s Eve too because one year we had steaks in the freezer and wanted to eat them. We liked both the Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve BBQs, so we did them again. Yum! Tradition.
Of course if we ever move further north we’ll have to modify those a bit, but that’s the way it works.
None of our traditions took a whole lot of thought or pre-planning, We hadn’t even planned on really making them traditions until the second year when we remembered how much we’d enjoyed them the year before and decided to do them again.
My mom used to recite a football cheer for us that sums up how to start a family tradition:
Do it again!
Do it again!
We like it!
We like it!
What traditions have you accidentally come upon in your family?