I have decided one of the hardest things about growing up is loosing and changing traditions. It happens to all of us in some way or another whether we get married, move far away from family, or even just go back and visit different family. I mean I spent 21 years, or at least as long as I can remember, doing things like Christmas pretty much the same way every year. The same Christmas Eve broccoli and cheese soup, the same Christmas morning coffee cake, the same real tree, and everything else. And then a big change happens, and everything changes.

Sure, you try and hang on to some of them, but it just isn't the same. Instead you go to someone elses house and participate in their traditions. Or you marry someone and have to combine traditions as well as come up with new ones that fit you. I would imagine the first couple of years are the hardest. There may be new things that you are doing that you like and are meaningful, but you haven't been doing them long enough to make them traditions.

I do think traditions are intensely important. They give us continuity both with our past and with the past of others. The traditions in my family give me connection to my parents and to myself as a child. The traditions within the church give me connections to other Christians throughout time. I just don't understand the idea that anything old is automatically bad. It doesn't have to be meaningless or dry, just take the time to think about all the people that particular tradition is connecting you to!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Traditions: even within a home, traditions change and sometimes year to year. This year feels funny because we don't have any of our home traditions, but at the same time, it's time to make new traditions for myself, since I don't have a family with me. Traditions also bind a family and when the family "breaks" from divorce or separation, traditions just don't mean the same. But all of the traditions we had while you girls were young mean so much to me, to look back and think about what we did together. That's one thing that feels strange this year. This is the FIRST year I have ever spent Christmas Day in my parent's house. And I have no traditions for Christmas Day here. It's different but ok.

Make your own traditions and cherish them.