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Traditions We Repeat Year After Year

Updated: Jun 1

I’m in love with the Holiday season of my imagination. You know, the one with families and friends gathering at a lovely table overflowing with the season’s bounty, children on their best behavior. Where parents never age, and our children stay young. The Holiday shopping of hustle and bustle and the prices haven’t changed since the 1990s. The fireplace blazing and your favorite mug of hot cocoa topped with marshmallows floating on top that sticks to your top lip and has zero calories. It’s the Holiday past manufactured template for traditions that doesn’t mirror reality.

It’s sometimes exhausting to match the template of the season. I think we all reflect in one way or another, creating our own version of the meaningful season and gatherings. Past Holiday cheer of simpler times. Gathering memories of all our loved ones together. Yep, I can smell grandpa’s pipe right now, his white whiskers, short spiky crewcut hair, and grandma’s laughter and tight hugs.

What makes the Holidays special are the rituals in particular we make. Our family circle knows about it. Or individual things we do every year around the Holidays. They’re personally idiosyncratic, maybe even boring, and once a year is enough roleplaying eccentric. Things we don’t do in our everyday lives, like wearing a kooky ugly once-a-year Holiday sweater that smells like your closet. Perhaps it is screaming on TV or watching football or the parade. Maybe it’s taking long walks with the whole family on the beach at twilight or volunteering your time or going to the children’s hospital and giving out stuffed bears. Or, the steadfast seasonal tradition is cleaning the garden for next year’s crop or cleaning out the spice rack.

The rituals we do for the Holidays. Or is it because most of us take time off at the end of the year? Or is it because it’s beginning to look a lot like the year is ending?


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