Traditions are wonderful things not just because of what they are but who you share them with. It is continuity, a rhythm you create and maintain in life no matter what happens through the year.
Take for instance today; I went on a day trip with Jody, my best friend since childhood. Every autumn for the last 20 years we take one day out of our busy lives to travel to North Carolina, stopping along the way at antique and novelty shops, getting things we just can’t seem to find anywhere else, and purchasing Christmas and birthday gifts for others to justify the amount of money we spend on ourselves as well. It is a time we can talk about anything with each other and share thoughts we share with no one else. We re-solidify the friendship that has remained steadfast since we were 5 years old. This yearly trek is our tradition.
Traditions are a way of life for all of us. Whether it’s a ritual of opening one gift on Christmas Eve or baking cookies for your child on their first day of school, it’s a way of making us feel a part of something bigger. A tradition can be so ingrained that when it’s broken, you truly feel a loss. A divorce or break-up happens and you can miss the Sunday morning breakfast-in-bed more than you miss the person; your child goes off to college or enlists in the armed forces and you no longer have the birthday party to plan for them each year. New traditions can be established, but the old ones are like old friends, never forgotten, never replaced.
I’m all for spontaneity but traditions keep us grounded; they tie us to our friends and family. As we head into Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, celebrate not only the season but the traditions that come with them.