What is a tradition? I decided to see what ‘Webster’ had to say and found this:
-the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
Yep, that sums it up. We certainly do things in my home that fit that definition. In fact, many of our beliefs are passed by word of mouth from one generation to another around the dinner table! As my 'baby' is preparing to graduate high school, #3 is exploring life away from home, #2 is married and has started her own family and #1 is abroad with the Navy, about to enter marriage and start his own family, yikes!), I find myself now pondering the conversations I will have with their children; my grandchildren.
Those table time conversations will impact their lives
and even the lives of generations to come.
Time around the table is THAT powerful!
However, as November and December are upon us, my mind goes to other traditions that are repeated this time of year. Will my children pass them on to their children? Will the grandkids look forward to coming to my house to play out generational traditions? Do my grown up children even like the traditions I have ‘forced’ on them all these years?
When my family was young, traditions were what we did ‘because I said so’! Not in a demanding way, but because they were young and followed the lead of mom and dad. Many of them were traditions I learned from my mom. So as I began to pass on these traditions, I would sometimes wonder if they too would want to share them with their family.
At that time in our lives, a tradition was defined as
something that was important to me.
Now that my kids are old enough to voice an opinion I have a new personal definition of tradition:
Something that is important to them.
After years of wondering if I was the only one that enjoyed the traditions passed down from my family, and even some new ones I had established, my heart now leaps when I hear them saying any of the following:
“I’ve been talking to some of my friends that want to come over the day after Thanksgiving to decorate the tree with us. Is that ok?”
“Are going to make the snack tray again this year while we decorate the tree?”
“When are we going to make the fudge? I wanted to see if my friend could join us.”
So while Webster has the intellectually correct answer to my question, “what is a tradition?”, I prefer the litmus test of an opinionated, do it my own way, teenager to define a family tradition!
So what is your favorite family tradition? Do you have a recipe you make together every year? Do you have a specific meal that is shared as a family every year? Are you a young family wondering if the kids even notice it is a tradition? Or are you an older family living out the blessing of traditions enjoyed because they want to?
I’d love to hear from you. Just click the comment link and let's chat around the table!
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