Everyone has traditions for how they spend their Saturday morning, how they cook their blueberry muffins, or how they spend their holidays. Traditions are patterns in life that help us make sense of the world. With so much chaos and unexplained tragedies, we need stability. We need something to rely on. Something to count on every day, every week, or every year.
I recall reading in a parenting book that children need structure. They need a pattern to their day. Aren’t traditions just patterns for how we spend our holidays? Putting up a Christmas tree, hanging stockings by the fireplace, opening a single gift on Christmas Eve, lighting 8 candles, or spinning a dreidel. There are holiday traditions for whatever your religion or non-religion. This time of year should be about recognizing that humans are all the same and we need traditions regardless of our beliefs in Jesus, God, or Buddha.
If you have ever seen the movie or play Fiddler on the Roof, then you may recall the song “Tradition” where everyone has their roles to play. Everyone follows the traditions because that is what they do. Grown-ups follow traditions but really aren’t they just patterns and structure built-in childhood? This holiday season I look forward to creating new traditions with my new family. What my family is may take another whole blog, so for now let’s stick to enjoying old traditions, creating new ones and hoping our children find safety in both this holiday season.