Dated: 12/05/2017

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Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other holiday, you probably have TRADITIONS! What traditions do you celebrate? Do you know how they got started?

In the words of Teyve in "Fiddler on the Roof,"

        "Because of our traditions we've kept our balance for many, many years. Here in Anatevka, we have traditions for                                                        everything: how to sleep, how to to to wear clothes...You may ask, "How did this tradition                                                            get started? I'll tell you...

          [Long pause] I don't know. But it's tradition."

Traditions in our family started generations ago. And, whether we know when or where our traditions got started, they are a special part of our holidays. 

When I was a child, we would gather at my grandparents' home on Christmas Eve have a casual meal together, then open gifts from our family. Everyone went in turn, youngest to oldest, except for grandma. She cheated and would slowly, noiselessly, sneakily, start tearing the paper of her next gift. Part of the fun, was catching her at this and reminding her it was not her turn. She would behave for a short time, then be back at it again. Someone would remind her again and she would say, "Oh, I didn't know." She knew darn we. ll, but we all loved it. These are some fond memories. Santa would come the following day and later in the day we'd get together again as a family and have our Christmas dinner. These traditions hold lots of precious memories including grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  

My husband and I started our own tradition after we'd been married awhile. We found that the holidays were so busy that we had no time to just be together as a family. Our tradition is called "Christmas Eve, Eve." On the 23 of December have our own celebration with dinner, a Christmas movie, popcorn, hot chocolate, warm cider." This is a sacred day for our family, no one plans any other activities that night. In the years since we started this tradition, we have included inlaws. Some of the things we have done are a family talent show, my husband wrote a song about our family, and other fun things. It really doesn't matter what we do, what really means the most is that we are all together.

In years since, we had to move far from family and miss them terribly during the holidays. Family is such an integral part of holidays and traditions, that the memories we share pull us closer together. But, hopefully, we will join them for another Christmas in the not too far future, so that we can continue traditions and make more memories.

Tevye goes on to tell us, "...and because of our traditions every one of us knows who he is..." I agree that traditions can help us know who we are, what we believe, our part in our family, and how much those we love mean to us. Carry on your traditions or start some of your own.

What are your traditions? PLEASE SHARE!

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