Line #3 of our Family Creed is “We believe in celebrating together–our faith, our heritage, our traditions.”
This is such a complex line that it’s too much for one blog. I started writing and saw that I would never make it past the first comma without the need for another blog. So, line #3 is divided even more, down to the key points–Faith, Heritage, and Tradition.
Traditions are those valuable things that make us feel at home. Going back to faith, I feel that the times that I question the most are the times that I hold closer to those traditional aspects of religion–the recitation and traditions of the Eucharist, Holy Communion… When kids are young and learning their boundaries, the consistency of a daily schedule–naptime, when we eat, etc–tend to be the “home” that balances them and keeps them from freaking out. When we are older and we are stressed, we tend to go to the habits and traditions that give us that same feeling of peace…going for a run, baking bread, meditation…whatever makes you feel at peace.
I think traditions are like that. A tradition becomes more than a one-time occurrence when it we associate it with a good feeling. I like to think of that feeling as home. It’s easy to pull out the traditions around the holidays…and if you think about it, that is the time we are typically surrounded by family, and reminiscing on the comforts we remembered as home when we were children.
During Christmas time when I was young, every year Mom would read the story of “Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect.” Every Mom and Dad would put the angel on the top of the tree last, together, and pose for a picture while they kiss…making for many near-tree-toppling experiences, but lots of fun and laughter. Every Christmas Eve, my middle brother and I would camp out in Mom and Dad’s room, making pallets on the floor and straining to hear Santa (Dad’s, don’t “ho, ho, ho” when kids are still up–we know your voice). We always baked the traditional pumpkin pie for a meal, and my famous apple pie.
We’ve added in some new traditions now in our family–Christmas Eve we open up a gift with the girls that is a family game–no batteries allowed. The girls get new matching pajamas every year. Christmas Eve is with my in-laws, and I make a pumpkin roll…and Christmas morning at our house is a big breakfast and everyone is invited, then down to my parent’s for the afternoon. On Thanksgiving, we all write down the things we are most thankful for that year–once we have a few years to choose from, we’ll then pull out past ones to read about what was important from the year before.
We have more traditions beyond just holidays, though. Almost every meal we eat as a family, and Ladybug Girl starts us off with her prayer song:
We tuck each girl in every night with their own special lullaby, followed by lots of hugs and kisses, and in the mornings the girls pile in our bed for some quality time before we get started for the day. I’m sure this is a tradition that won’t be as popular when they are teenagers, but for now I cherish these special times with them.
I hope to add in more and more traditions not merely to the holidays, but in our daily life. To me, these traditions create home, and I love starting new ones and remembering the old ones, even if it was merely for a season.
What are some traditions in your home? During the holidays? In your daily life?