1. the handing down of beliefs, customs, etc., through generations
Let's just begin by saying I love traditions. They anchor us, give us something to look forward to, a reason to gather together and a sense that though relative chaos may be swirling around us, some things remain the same. I find that enormously comforting.
And, so, maintaining treasured traditions is a priority for me. Not so much that I cannot bend, but enough that I am still glad to do the work to make sure they still happen. My nephew Mike, as he was loading his family into their car after joining us for our traditional Easter family gathering, made the observation, "that was a lot of work to pull this all together and then, much like Thanksgiving dinner, it was done in thirty minutes." True, that.
There were hours of preparation-a trip to the farmer's market before work to buy just the right flowers, last minute runs to the market, multiple purchases in the weeks leading up to the event to find goodies to fill eggs for the traditional egg hunt...staying up late the night before with my sister Debi, to prepare in advance much of the food we would consume. Time in the attic, pulling out all the decor and later to put it away, setting a beautiful table days in advance. But when everyone gathered around our table, (fourteen this year) it was worth every second--to see each face I love, to remember past gatherings, to see our little ones delighting in eggs found, to relax around our table and enjoy the luxury of their company, that was, is and will continue to be priceless.
Just yesterday, the husband and I took our grand girl (and she is!) to the garden center where we filled a rolling cart with beautiful things to plant-- notably our traditional tomatoes and beautiful flowers, but some new additions as well. We spent the day, the three of us, toiling in the back yard, pulling weeds, digging holes, planting, watering and generally getting muddy! And four year old Ru, while watering our new crop made the observation, "I've been waiting for this day all year!" She has been part of this tradition since she could walk and she knows that she can depend on it happening every spring...the trip to the nursery, the unloading of our loot, the pulling of weeds, the releasing of lady bugs, the watering, the time spent with her Ommie and Poppa, the harvesting and the joy of the tradition itself.
So, traditions will stand for as long as I can. We may no longer drive to my parents home for Christmas Eve, but we still gather. The faces around our table may change as some are unable to come and others are added, but there will remain a continuity, a certainty that in this evolving world, some things will remain the same. Count on it.