Since we talked about it being a holiday on Monday, we would like to talk a little about Family Traditions. Believe it or not, while growing up there were things that were done, especially around holidays that were traditions. They may have come from your mom, dad or both. The ones that most people remember are the traditions surrounding Christmas and Easter. Some families have traditions for birthdays, and for other holidays or special days in their family. Our family had traditions that are remembered and some that were added by us as children. As we grew older and had our own families, we developed new traditions together combining things from both families. We grandchildren always went with our grandfather to pick out the Christmas tree. Of course we always got one that was too tall and he would have to cut it off. It is a cherished memory. After he passed my grandmother opted for an artificial tree, it was easier for her to deal with.
Easter of course has other traditions, like Christmas new clothes, but new shoes and for us girls, a hat! Our Easter feast was usually a ham with all of the trimmings and it seems like there was always someone there to enjoy it with us. We had our Easter egg hunts which were always fun, and one year there was an egg we couldn’t find (this was before plastic eggs). It was found a couple of years later up in a lamp, perfectly intact but totally hollow inside.
Birthdays have always been fun, even if we didn’t have a party. Somehow our family just made it that way. We started a tradition of giving the little girls a doll cake on their first birthday. The boys get something as well like a car or Elmo, anything that’s fun. On one birthday the family made a mud cake
and put it in a toy wheelbarrow. It was chocolate pudding, crushed up oreos and gummy worms. Now this was for an adult, not a child. It was a big hit. Our grandmother didn’t like cake necessarily, so for her birthday she got homemade cherry pie that was made with the cherries we canned from our trees.
One thing that I didn’t mention was that for us, the major holidays Christmas and Easter also had a religious aspect. This is not true for everyone, but each person should be able to choose how their family celebrates those times. The important thing is to build family traditions because they build memories. Memories are one of the things that bind us to our family here and those that have passed on. There are things that we did that are as still as clear as glass, even if sometimes we can’t remember why we walked into a room. One other thing, record your memories, whether on a disc or in a journal, write them down. Your children, grandchildren and beyond will thank you for leaving them that legacy, because that’s what traditions are, a legacy from the past to the present and future.