As I watched my sons dye Easter eggs, I thought about our family traditions. We always put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night. We go to my in-laws’ for Christmas Eve and my mother’s on Christmas night. And we dye eggs for Easter.
These traditions help give our family predictability and identity. Some traditions simply keep us connected. We used to go to lunch every Sunday after church, but a series of events (losing a pastor, my accident, my brother moving) have made it more difficult and less frequent. I miss it.
It makes me happy that my 17-year-old son is still voluntarily dying eggs (he shot this video), that my daughter and her husband now spend the night at my house the night before Thanksgiving so we can cook all the traditional holiday dishes, and that my husband and I take an annual anniversary trip. I look forward to these rituals, big and small. They help define who we are as a family.
Joseph Campbell’s book, The Power of Myth, addresses the lack of myth in our culture. Much of the disconnect among generations, lack of familial and community responsibility, and individual identity issues can be traced back to a lack of ritual and story. One way to remedy this is through family traditions.
What are some of your traditions?