Traditions seem to be a thing of days gone by. I have fond memories of traditional events as I grew up. In a very real way, they formed me. We have lost the art of building traditions, repeating annual events that each year our kids and families look forward to. We asked our kids about selling our house – all said, “NO!” Our son, Daniel, said “I want to bring my kids home at Thanksgiving to turkeys frying and pies baking in the oven!”
I want to see men stop complaining about the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, and begin using it to teach the reason for this time of year. Build lasting traditions your families can look back on and remember times of thankfulness, celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, and the beginning of a new year that provides for a fresh start.
I have a plethora of memories of annual events, so many it is hard to pick the ones to share. Some are: camping in Canada, trips to Conneaut Lake Park with the Rotary Club to take physically challenged youth for a day of fun, serving as acolyte at the Christmas Eve service at the local Episcopal Church and walking home in the snow after midnight, seeing the Christmas lights on our house, lying on my back down by French Creek as the 4th of July fireworks burst overhead, and so many more. These things and many others formed a foundation for me.
When our children were in high school, we decided to buy a small gift for Christmas and give them money for a day of shopping on the 26th. We begin with coffee or breakfast out, shopping, lunch, shopping and dinner. Sometimes we buy very little, but we spend the whole day together, laughing and enjoying each other. Shelby, who turns 25 on Christmas Eve, said yesterday that it is her favorite day of the year.
Our families are looking for memories, stories to share with their families in the future. They just don’t realize it because traditions have become a thing of the past. Resurrect them, start building them back into your family. Just the other day, I helped a friend demolish parts of a cabin he and his wife bought so they can build memories with their children. Now that is intentional thinking. It is time we build back into our families’ stories, traditions that our children can share with their children.
This has proven to be an emotional blog to write. I had forgotten a number of my family traditions. Remembering all of them has given me a renewed focus to continue to develop new and fun traditions for my adult kids and now my grandkids. Please join me! Instead of begrudging the holidays, let’s build traditions and leave a legacy for those following us.
If you would like help with how to get started, send a comment; I would be happy to help with ideas and creative things you could do.