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Traditions carry us into the future

We find ourselves at the end of another year. While there is much moaning and groaning about how commercialized the season has become, it is also true that there is much to be celebrated. With Christmas right around the corner it’s time to dust off the seasonal family traditions. Most families have yearly rituals to encourage the younger generations to embrace the memories of those who came before them. Traditions are important whether they be simple or complex.

My own mother’s tradition was food. She loved to cook and her mouth-watering feasts are still remembered by my siblings and I with warm memories. While Thanksgiving was her crowning achievement (that dressing!) she was no slouch with Christmas dinner. The table was groaning with the weight of her yearly masterpiece and we eagerly anticipated the spread before us.

My mother-in-law's food tradition was to bake various types of cookies each year and packaged them for each of her niece's and nephew's families. Everyone looked forward to 'Aunt Betty’s cookies’. When age and health kept her from continuing the practice they were all sad her tradition was at a close.

Every year my children reminisce of the one tradition they cherish. My mother-in-law would spend the night on Christmas Eve so she didn’t miss one second of the kids on Christmas morning. They loved having that special time with her as their excitement grew with each passing minute. Even though she has been gone for 18 years now, the memory has not faded.

That’s what traditions are supposed to do for us- help the memories of our childhood last forever. We take them into our own adulthood and make memories for the next generation.

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