Traditions, Ever Revising

“What an enormous magnifier is tradition! How a thing grows in the human memory and in the human imagination, when love, worship, and all that lies in the human heart, is there to encourage it.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

Sometimes we go to great lengths to arrange our traditions like flowers to present an ideal bouquet in our lives, and other times they just fall into place. They provide our families with a rich fragrance and connection. Tradition seeps into our bones like water into a tea bag until it unifies and strengthens and we don’t remember life any other way.

We established many traditions with our own children. Through the years some remain and others have morphed into new ones. Of course, some have slipped into the warmth of memory.

One of our traditions is the birthday person can choose any meal to be made at home or can go out as a family to any restaurant they choose. A few years ago I chose to go out but could not decide where I wanted to go. I think Dirt Man came up with something and I agreed. I just wasn’t in the mood for any particular place. As we got to the end of the street ready to take a right, Youngest yelled out the name of a restaurant we used to frequent when they were little. Oldest and I shouted “yes” in unison as Dirt Man struggled to get the car into the left turning lane.

I’m not sure how or when this little family Italian restaurant had stumbled from the grace of familiarity with us. I suppose most likely our sons tastes grew along with them and preferred other types of restaurants, not to mention the fact it’s difficult to schedule a time convenient for the four of us and both of their girlfriends.

When our kids were small this place had Tuesday night “make you own pizzas” for kids. The first thing Oldest and Youngest did when we sat down was look for the pizza bar. Sadly, it had been removed. Still, we had a wonderful time reliving the past and enjoying the restaurant for the first time as a family of all adults. We swore we’d surely go back again soon. Sadly, we haven’t. However, Youngest’s birthday is coming up soon…I wonder if he’ll think to choose that place.

Like the tradition of burning the gardens and fields in the spring, we can look at the ending of a tradition as the death of it. Or we can view it as a renewal, an opportunity to create a new tradition.

As for future traditions in my family, I know my heart will expand to include more people, create more memories, and clothe those I love in comfort. Time is the creator and breaker of traditions. It has a way of melding the present into the past and tiptoeing into the future.

Sprite’s Keeper: Traditions

37 thoughts on “Traditions, Ever Revising

  1. thanks for the post suzi, right now its season of nostalgia in bengal, the place where i live, with durgapuja knocking on door, there are so many memories and so many beautiful things attached to it.

    i believe a lot of traditions make us better people.

  2. I love traditions, I think mine mostly come into play at Christmas. I’ve always wanted a restaurant where you know you’ll have good food and a good time guaranteed, I’m still searching but I’m glad you found such a place!

  3. Most of the traditions in my life revolved around childhood . . . mine and my nieces and nephews.

    Now that we and they are older, our family traditions seem to be on hiatus . . . perhaps until a grand niece or nephew appear on the scene?

  4. “As for future traditions in my family, I know my heart will expand to include more people, create more memories, and clothe those I love in comfort. Time is the creator and breaker of traditions. It has a way of melding the present into the past and tiptoeing into the future.”

    You are soooooooo correct, Suzi!

    Traditions are always morphing, creating new traditions; yet taking past and present traditions into the future.

    “One of our traditions is the birthday person can choose any meal to be made at home or can go out as a family to any restaurant they choose.”

    My family had the same tradition!!!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friend…..X

  5. Charming! We have a tradition to take the Ferry across the Bay the day after Thanksgiving. We don’t shop, but merely walk around to see the Christmas decorations all the stores have on black Friday. Since we usually have a house party for Thanksgiving, it generally includes the kids and grandkids. It’s a fun day!

    • That sounds lovely. It’s amazing how many charming little things we just do and never really realize they have become traditions until we hear one of our kids say “well, our family always does….” I love it. It’s what makes families special.

  6. Those traditions really saturate our cells. I still hunker in on Christmas Eve as though the whole family is about descend. We spent Christmas Eves eating, singing, drooling over wrappings, guessing what might be in packages and finally being allowed to open one present before bedtime. My father and I argued over how many could be opened until the year he died – I was 49 and he was 89!

  7. It’s nice to live in the same place where your kids were little. I’d love to go to some of the cities where my kids were smaller and we had our favorite restaurants. There are places we frequented when company came to town and it was a big deal.

    • It is nice to have memories attached to so many of the places we pass everyday. However, changes are ever constant and some of our wonderful memories have been bulldozed to make room for strip malls etc…

  8. We’ve had to give up many traditions as the kids have one-by-one grown up and moved away. It’s kind of sad.

    At this point, I want to start anew. And maybe not focus so much on how “we always do it” but more on what would be fun right now.

  9. One tradition I thought I’d never give up even when I became old was putting up the Christmas tree. Have not done so last 3 years. Sooooo much put up and take down work esp when there are few visitors to speak up. I do hang some lights in the dining room, string the cards and put some pine tree scraps around for the aroma.

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