I remember the look of hurt and confusion my dad had on his face as I stated that we had no traditions. I have no idea why I said it, because it was not true. We had quite a few, and they were very important to me. Christmas Eve going to my grandma’s and coming home to find that Santa had been there, bubble lights and antique bulbs, Shamrock Shakes, Peeps, Frosties and fries when we would go with my dad to his office on a weekend, and more. Many are incorporated into my family life. Each season brought different traditions, and now with a family of my own, they are dear to my heart.
Traditions are funny, sometimes they find you. We have tried something new and somehow it connected with a kid and it became one of our traditions. “Aren’t we going to have such and such for tomorrow? We always do that or have that.” someone would inquire… “of course”… as I hurry to find a way to make it happen. Potato Pancakes that my husband makes now for New Year’s Day is one, Hot Cross Buns for Easter, Pizza delivered when we set up the tree and more. I have tried to introduce new ones but they did not all take root, but that is okay. We have plenty and they make our family who we are, and someday our kids will be completely independent and take the ones that are most meaningful to them and drop the ones that did not connect.
As my family dynamic changes with the nest emptying out, finding new traditions to keep the specialness of the seasons and holidays is important to me. Finding new ways to celebrate and enjoy the time is a lesson I am learning. This new season is interesting, and part of me achingly looks back at the traditions and special times, but when I start thinking about what I miss, I realize how blessed I am, and how the traditions were gifts to connect us a little more to each other as we shared life. I am looking forward to seeing how my kids adapt and add new ones to their life and trying to hold mine loosely, and enjoy them for what they are, extra gifts in the rhythm of life.