The Beauty of Tradition
In Relief Society a couple of weeks ago we had a lesson on traditions. It was titled, Righteous Traditions. Many of us think of traditions as those things we do as a big family thing -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, reunions, etc. The lesson pointed out that there are other traditions that are much more important; family prayer, family scripture study, Family Home Evening, etc. It was an enlightening lesson, and I appreciated it's value.
Today, because of the date (Canadian Thanksgiving, if you don't know), I'm reminded of the regular family traditions. Have you ever thought of the art and beauty involved? Sometimes that could be taken sarcastically if your family is one that doesn't get along, so it's an act of chaos control to keep everyone from killing each other before the day is over.
But if your family is made richer by the regular traditions that help keep the family ties strong. I came from a multi family youth. I don't really remember anything deeply traditional about any of the families I lived with other than celebrating Christmas. How each Christmas was celebrated was different, so there were no real traditions in my mind.
When I moved in with those who I call Mom and Dad, I discovered they had many traditions. By the time I went on my mission, I came to count on those traditions as a way of knowing where they were and what they were doing. I felt like I was back home for just a moment, and felt their love close. I remember having a conversation with my brother when I called home, and listing off all the things they were doing. He was totally surprised that I would remember what he thought were trivial things.
To me it was beauty and art. The beauty of family and the rich ties that bind through hard times and good.
We are entering the season of family activity. We have traditions that start with Halloween and go through the week of Christmas. Traditions that include decorating our home, remembering those who live outside of the state, and joining together with extended family.
They are times I treasure and look forward to every year. To a girl that grew up without traditions and such love in her youth, these times are like mana from Heaven.
Today we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. It became a tradition because my husband served a mission in Toronto, Ontario Canada. He feels he is an adopted Canadian, and so I've tried to honor that feeling by holding a small Thanksgiving dinner on that day every year. We have tradition of using china, crystal, quality silverware and cloth napkins on Thanksgiving day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner. These items are indications that we are recognizing the day as being different -- special.
When I went to Hawaii last year, the family was getting ready to cook a turkey, even though I was gone. They didn't have much with it, apparently -- I have girls who will only cook if forced...lol -- but they knew it was important to keep up with tradition.
Kind of reminds me of the movie Everafter where the little girl tells her new stepmother that they need to wait -- "It's tradition!"
As we start to decorate our homes in celebration of fall, the gorgeous colors the world shows for it's farewell to summer and the wonderful family gatherings ahead -- you might ponder what traditions you have as a family. Are they good traditions that bring everyone joy? Do they enrich your lives? Do they draw you closer together?
I wish everyone a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving! I need to go put the turkey in the oven...