Tradition…. Tradition!

Tradition is an important part of society.  As Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof” says, it’s what holds us all together!!  This past weekend got me thinking about traditions.  It seems that in our society so many traditions have fallen to the wayside and are now only a memory from long ago.  The Hallmark traditions of cutting down your very own Christmas tree as a family, fresh baked apple pies on the 4th or dad carving a turkey in a perfectly decorated room with the perfect family on Thanksgiving don’t exist in today’s society.  Today, our traditions look a little different…

Tradition in my family may not be as obvious as good ole Hallmark’s, but I think it’s pretty fantastic.  We may not have a lot of traditions for the 4th anymore, but our Thanksgiving is full of tradition.  Every year, my entire extended family (which is about 20-25 people) heads over to my parent’s house.  Every year, my mom stresses a bit about where every one is going to sit and every year it works out fine.  I spend the morning ironing napkins and table clothes in the living room while (quite enthusiastically) watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  No one takes a shower until about 3:00p.m. and every one supposed to arrive by 4:00p.m.  Needless to say, with 5 people in the house, some one is always barely out of the shower by the time the doorbell rings.

4:00p.m. arrives and the only people there are my Grandma and Grandpa who arrived about 30 minutes early (i still can’t figure out why they are ALWAYS early). my Aunt Sue and Uncle Dave.  Within a half an hour, almost every one has arrived… Except my Aunt Sherry and Uncle Steve who ALWAYS bring the appetizers and pop and are ALWAYS late.  We really should re-assign them to dessert….

My aunt from the Philippines brings egg rolls which she fries in the garage (oil is smelly you know!!), Aunt Sue brings deviled eggs and Aunt Sylvia brings fruit salad.  My grandma makes 5 different kinds of pies, my other grandma makes mashed potatoes in a crock pot and some one always brings some sort of creamed veggies or cassarole of some sort.

As the spread is laid out, my Uncle Steve is always first in line and the deviled eggs never make it out of the fridge.  Hours later, they will be discovered and devoured.  After dinner, every one grabs slices of grandma’s amazing home made pies, turns on the game and starts a card game (or 2).  My grandma falls asleep on the couch and my cousins start their Christmas list for the aunts.

Every year, it’s the same…. and I love it.  It may not look like Hallmark’s idea of a perfect tradition, but in my mind, today’s traditions are hidden in the deviled eggs in the fridge and the egg rolls in the garage.   What are your traditions??  With families looking so different, life moving at a faster pace and the world generally changing, traditions are harder to see but just as special as in days past.   I think Tevye would be proud… TRADITION!!

-Caitlin

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~ by caitlinludwig on July 6, 2010.

5 Responses to “Tradition…. Tradition!”

  1. What a great post, Caitlin! It really makes me proud to be an American because we have the freedom to create our own traditions. Because my family is spread out across the country, holidays for me are spent with just my parents and my older brother. Just being together and having the freedom to do whatever we want (like going to see a movie on Christmas day or heading out to a water park on the 4th of July) is like our tradition. I guess our tradition is to be together on the holidays no matter what.

  2. Being together is a great tradition, Mika!! Whether you’re grabbing popcorn or hitin’ the wavepool, it feels good to be together and have the freedom to do whatever your heart desires!! Thanks for the comment!!

    -Caitlin

  3. My extended family is also scattered across the country so it’s just my immediate family on holidays. We have a tradition of not being traditional.
    The last couple times I spent Thanksgiving with my family, my mom offered to make our favorite dishes. So we’ve had my grandma’s lasagna recipe and my mom’s yummy Itali
    an salad instead of Turkey. One thing we never skip is the Sour Cream Apple Pie and we also play Mexican Train Dominoes after dinner every year.
    When I lived in GA for 3 years I didn’t usually make it home for Thanksgiving and spent those Thanksgivings with dear friends that were, essentially, my GA family. They are Persian and we cooked together.
    They’d show me how to prepare traditional Turkish food, including a Turkish turkey, and I’d demonstrate how to make American dishes such as green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. Those were very fun Thanksgiving meals followed with persian tea and hookah in the living room.
    I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a “traditional” American Thanksgiving but my Thanksgivings are always memorable.

    • Wow your Thanksgivings sound really cool!!! I envy that you’ve had the opportunity to have such diverse experiences.

  4. What great memories Jolene!! How fantastic!!

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