It's the time of year when we see Christmas displays in the store windows, twinkling lights on the trees in the front yards, hear old favorites on the radio, bake for a cookie exchange, and gather with friends and family around the fireplace. A lot of these elements are traditions; some having been passed down for generations, some being new this year.
Traditions aren't just exclusive to the holidays. Sure, most of us have grown up with memories of chopping down a Christmas tree, being allowed to open just one gift on Christmas Eve, eating the big family meal in the dining room with your grandmother's favorite china, or going to a church service with the WHOLE family. But truth be told traditions can be experienced any time; blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, that adorable photo of every kid with a new outfit on and wearing a backpack on the first day of kindergarten, or maybe even that special week up at the cabin on the lake in the summer.
Yes, traditions are important. They're part of our heritage ... part of our memories of the things we love most. When we were little we may not have realized that having to leave our newly unwrapped toys around the Christmas tree to load up the car and go to visit the grandparents was a tradition; but it was. Now as we grow up a couple of things happen (besides becoming wiser, lol). We now have our own families and we try to start some of our own traditions, but at the same time honor as many of the older ones as we can. Yes, many traditions do seem to surface around the holidays, but I think that's just because that's when most have a little time off of work or have family gatherings. It's when we tend to take the time for the special stuff.
Three years ago after my daughter started college I suddenly realized that she was growing up and would be out and on her own before I knew it. So what did we do? We started our own tradition of having a mother-daughter getaway for one weekend in the summer. The first summer we went to an Amish area B&B and loved it. Last summer we went to Mackinac Island and stayed on the island, biked for 2 days, walked for hours, and ate an AWESOME Whitefish dinner looking out over the water. More importantly, we created memories and plans for next summer.
What are some of your traditions? What has made them special to you?
Are there any traditions from when you were younger that you still participate in?