This year, my husband and I started what may become a new tradition. Since both our daughters had other commitments, we decided to have dinner at a favorite local restaurant. It was wonderful. The food was fantastic, the service excellent and the conversation delightful. Standard fare when dining with my husband. I am indeed a lucky woman. The best part is, we now have dibs on both girls and their families for Christmas.
Our normal tradition is a big family meal with lots of laughter, good conversation and home-made pie for dessert. It’s a good tradition and I love it, but I try to stay open to new things, and I’m glad I did as I am now skirting a turkey coma I didn’t have to pay for with a full day in the kitchen. Downside: no left overs and no extra pie (which is probably also an upside, if you know what I mean).
Another of my traditions is ChristmasMade in the South on Black Friday. Just as crowded as the mall, but the gifts are more unique and it doesn’t open until nine. Three a.m. is not an hour I want to be consciously acquainted with…ever. This is a tradition I will be keeping for the moment.
Everyone has traditions, even if we think we don’t. There is a certain level of comfort and safety in doing things the same way each year. Good traditions create atmosphere, bring back good memories and help us feel the connections between past and present. That’s why we keep doing them. When we eat, and what, as well whether we say grace, where we celebrate and with whom are all part of our individual traditions. Each element provides us a sense of home and family in whatever form we find most satisfying. But good traditions are not the only kind there are.
Sadly, some of us have traditions that do not serve us well and others cling to traditions even when they don’t work anymore. We hang on to old habits simply because they are known quantities and sometimes it’s scary to break out of a familiar mold and do something new. Sometimes we don’t think we are allowed to discard a tradition, even if it’s one that hurts us. Such traditions are meant to be dismantled, broken down into their parts so that something new and good can be constructed.
Whether good or bad, not all traditions are meant to last forever. Life changes, sometimes our traditions need to change along with them. Whether you are celebrating this year with old traditions or new ones, or a combination of the two, I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. May you have much to be thankful for and may the souls in your home be full.