“Traditions are the stories that families write together.”
If that sounds like a cheesy line from a Hallmark Christmas movie, well … guilty as charged. It comes from a Hallmark movie called “Reunited at Christmas.” And if the cat wasn’t already out of the bag, yes, I’m a Hallmark Christmas movie junkie.
In this particular movie, a grandmother passes along the tradition of placing a star on top of the Christmas tree to her children’s children while she repeats the line about traditions to them every year.
"Jingle Around the Clock" another Hallmark Christmas movie produced this gem of a quote: “Traditions are really just honoring the love and the effort that someone put in before you, and even if that person who put in the effort isn’t here anymore, we repeat traditions to keep them a part of us.”
This made me think about my own families traditions. My grandmother made the best chocolate chip cookies in the history of the world. While mine pale in comparison, I got up early Christmas morning and made a big batch. My niece devoured several handfuls after she arrived. And she took a container home with several dozen more. So I must’ve done something right.
She’s barely old enough to remember that my grandmother used to make chocolate chip cookies for Christmas, but I’m hoping that it honored my grandmother’s love and effort she put into her family all those years ago. At the very least, it prompted a conversation about those days with my niece.
I’m thinking I need to start other traditions throughout the year. Maybe go to the same fireworks show on July 4 with my niece every year. Or go to the same park every year with her for the free Memorial Day concert. Or maybe declare every Labor Day to be UNO (the card game) day.
I know I’m just the lame uncle, but by engaging in these traditions, maybe one day, long after I’m gone, she’ll still want to keep me as a part of her.
How about you? I’d love to hear about your own traditions (Christmas or otherwise) that you’ve carried on from loved ones who have passed away or the new ones you’ve established to make your connections with loved ones deeper.