One of the joys in living life to the fullest is the opportunity each year to renew and celebrate certain traditions. Holiday preparations, meals, decorations, music and conversation serve to bring family and friends together while strengthening the bond between them. Some traditions are marked by certain events. Seasonal changes, sporting events, religious celebrations, parties and gatherings all serve to bring us together to cope with life’s ups and down, providing joy and special meaning to the connections we share.
Some traditions are ancient, passing from generation to generation, renewed and passed down as valuable heirloom. Others may be passing and while only short-lived, served to mark a special time in one’s life.
Thanksgiving serves as an important kickoff to many of the traditions important in our lives. We each have those that are unique and very personal, but throughout your life they conjure special memories and warm thoughts of years gone by. Even when we suffer through some unbearable portion or a meal gone bad it’s the lasting memory that builds those unique layers on the tradition that further enriches the shared memory.
Unfortunately as time marches on so do some of the traditions that stood firm throughout the years. Traditions change as a result of many factors. The passing of time, places and people can affect those events over the years. In some cases only then do we begin to appreciate the value of those traditions and the effort put forth by those who made them special to you.
There is an important lesson to certain traditions. The most important lesson is the ability to share your traditions with others, inviting them into the unique experience that was once new to you. While the tradition may evolve over time the ability to pass along from previous generations not only the importance of the tradition but the manner in which those individuals from the earlier generation valued and shared the tradition. It’s those stories passed down and shared that make these events so very personal.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.