Wednesday, January 9, 2013


We have a number of traditions in our family – our holidays are saturated with them but we have traditions throughout the year.  Traditions give us comfort.  Traditions make us unique.  Traditions help us keep the memory of important people and events.  Traditions give us confidence.

Every Christmas Eve, sometime during the evening, we read the Biblical account of the birth of Christ from Luke 2.  It’s a precious time to break from all the busyness of the holiday and focus on the reason we celebrate.  The 4th of July has always been a big holiday for us – filled with parades, picnics and fireworks. 

Certain foods have a place in our traditions.  Recipes handed from one generation to the next make our holidays special.  I have a recipe from Norway called “Jule Kaga” (meaning Christmas Bread) that’s been handed down through many generations of my mom’s family.  It’s made with raisins, citron and cardamon seed and it’s not quite Christmas without it.  We slice and toast it for breakfast on Christmas morning and slather it with real butter.  Mmmm.   My dad’s family has been in America for 13 generations.  I don’t know how old the recipe really is, but holiday dinners have to include Squash Rolls - a yeast roll made with squash so it’s moist and golden yellow, but for the non-squash lovers, it doesn’t actually TASTE like squash. 

Several years ago, our daughter and her family moved 1100 miles away.  As a grandma, I wanted to maintain a special bond with my grandkids.  I visit them at least 3 times per year and sometime during nearly every visit, my granddaughter and I have a tea party.   We lay out real linens and have special dishes and Grammy makes fancy finger foods to enjoy with our tea.  We practice all our best manners too!  Often during my visits, we let Mommy and Daddy have a date night – and Grammy makes her special French Toast (with secret ingredients) for dinner with the kids.  After dinner we read stories and play games.   These traditions help us make memories!

Some traditions start by honoring a memory.  I know a couple who goes back to the same restaurant where he proposed, every year on the anniversary of their engagement.  Another couple had gone to a particular movie for their first date ..and they often watch that movie on that anniversary.  Traditions help us mark the milestones of our lives.

Businesses have traditions too.  Long standing family businesses often carry on the "traditions" of service, honesty or value.   As my jewelry business blooms, I think about the "traditions" of integrity and service I want to offer ... and want to be known for.  Those traditions don't come without effort .. but those are values worth working for.

What traditions are important to you?