Thanksgiving traditions

Traditions don’t sprout from nowhere, like a spontaneous generation of history with ten years of memories attached. They are made. Created, either through careful planning or on the fly.

Sometimes they live on forever. Other times, they die as forgotten relics of past holidays.

The creation of a tradition is a careful proposition, balanced on the edge of sentimental wishing and genuine repeatability. Simply calling something a tradition can seem fake, especially when there is little emotion behind the act. There’s something disingenuous about it in a very “department store creating holidays” sort of way.

At the same time, you can’t always depend on them to generate naturally. If you wait to repeat the same thing year after year, you’ll be waiting a long time. Holiday plans are so mangled and different from year to year that even the most basic of activities has a small chance of being replicated.

So it’s with an air of humility that we take on two traditions this year for Thanksgiving – one of each type; established and new. Cinnamon rolls and parades in the morning, just like Kerrie’s family had always done, and a written list of things we’re thankful for – a new tradition that failed last season due to my forgetting to create a list.

I’m excited to take part in these traditions, both new to our home but by no means new to the world. They promise to be memorable not just because of the activities involved, but also because they form a backbone for the family, an event that locks us together, free of the typical bustle and shackles of typical life. Free to be together, unabashedly enjoying each others company without the pretense of a schedule.

Traditions create memories that are one-hundred-percent in the moment, built up by years of experience. You know they’re going to be special before you even begin. And you remember them for the personal connections therein.

Happy Thanksgiving. And for those who don’t celebrate, happy Day Off of Work.

This was lovingly handwritten on November 26th, 2008