Traditions: consistently lived memories

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Holidays are reasons to get all of the family together for food and visiting with one another.  Or, at least that is how my family sees it.  For Thanksgiving this year we had over 15 people at our house (and truth be told, it was a lot less than last year).  My mother is a wonderful cook and hostess.  She always makes sure every single person has been served their food before she will eat, often times people are having dessert before she sits down for a salad.  She truly has hosting down to an art.  Perhaps one of my favorite things about holidays are our traditions.  No, we don’t have extravagant traditions like a vacation at this spot or that one.  Instead, we have small traditions that each of us expect and look forward to every year.  Our Thanksgiving tradition for years now has to do with helping my Mom cook all of the food.  She and her “helpers”  (which are my two sisters and myself) start cooking around midnight and cook delicious dishes and bake yummy treats right up until the time of the family Thanksgiving feast — which this year was at 2pm.  The tradition is what we wear.  There are two turkey aprons, complete with cotton stuff legs that hang down to my ankles.  Traditionally, either both helpers or one helper and my Mom wear them while cooking.  We have all come to love these turkey aprons, not because they are cute or because it’s really fun to make the legs “kick” people, but because of what it symbolizes.  Those aprons hold in a lot of memories.  A lot of fond memories.  Those aprons represent a humbling sense of servantry in that we (especially my Mom, I sneak off for a nap in the wee hours of the morning) sacrifice sleep and time in order to make sure our family is fed, happy, and taken care of.  Those aprons represent fun between a mother and her daughters, between a younger sister and her two older sisters.  Those aprons represent moments preserved forever in tradition that can be relived over and over by the swing of cotton stuffed turkey legs.
I have a weakness for traditions.  I love consistency.  I love knowing that there is always that one thing unique to me and my family to look forward to on holidays.  I love the bond that forms between being a part of a long-standing tradition.  I love getting to be inclusive and invite people in our traditions.   I love my weakness for traditions.

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