The first thing that came to mind when I saw this week's Mommy's project subject was: Fiddler on the Roof.
Check this you tube of Tevia singing "Tradition" for the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Then I quickly moved to think about "tradition" in our family/in my life. I just finished putting together our Family Album 2011- yep I'm a little behind, but also waiting for some major discounts because I always go over the allotted page allowance for the photo books. Either it is a sign we do a lot in a year or I take too many pictures- probably both. It got me thinking about what "tradition" I have kept alive through photos over the years. One of the longest traditions of my life is the fact that I'm rarely at my own home for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This started when I was growing up and we would travel to Virginia to be with my dad's family during the holidays. Now that I have my own family we do the same by traveling back to the "burbs" for the holidays with our parents and sister's families. I actually don't mind this tradition. Celebrating the holidays has never been about opening presents or going to church in my own home/town- it is about being with family. I love this tradition!
One of the other "traditions" that has been occurring for quite some time is my hubby and my annual "day in Chicago". We have been doing this since the summer prior to our being seniors in high school- so almost 20 years- gosh writing that makes me feel old. We take the train in from our family's burb and spend the day either with a specific plan, or of late just focusing on walking, hanging out with each other and enjoying lunch somewhere together. Again another tradition I love!
Over the last 5 years we have made it a tradition to have an annual cookie bake off day with my hubby's mom, dad, and sister around the Christmas holiday- normally do it the day after Thanksgiving. The first year we did this we didn't do much prep ended up going to Walmart the morning of the cookie bake off to get ingredients, kind of threw together a cookie/recipe list and I laugh at how many trips were made back to the store (burned one hand mixer out). We were up until late making cookies and the last couple batches of chocolate chip were a little too crisp because we were so worn out no one was keeping track of the time the cookies had been in. I made the mistake of not wearing shoes and my feet were so sore the next morning. Since that first time making cookies we have really improved- we have a spreadsheet, ingredients are purchased in advance, multiple kitchen aide mixers are utilized, I wear shoes so no sore feet, and we are a pretty great making cookie machine. This past year we donated the cookies to troops in Afghanistan- which takes care of an after problem of who eats all those cookies (we make hundreds!).
Some traditions are small, but also important and over time sometimes these traditions hold the most meaning- like for instance no matter what kind of day it has been I always tell my kids I love them before they go to bed. This sentiment is normally followed up with a hug or kiss (my oldest isn't too keen on kisses these days :)). My husband and I get each other Christmas ornaments every year and every year when we hang the ornaments on the tree I feel like I'm reliving our time together.
Traditions are something that family's memories are grounded on. I'm thankful for the many traditions we have continued and look forward to the traditions we will begin in the year's to come.