Traditions. Everyone has them. Humans are creatures of habit and repetition. We inherently make tradition.
The first tradition we are introduced to as children is, obviously, birthdays. Every year, we roll out the streamers and the balloons and endure the dreaded birthday song, written by Patty and Mildred J Hill in 1893. Sorry, ladies, but to sit in silence whilst a room full of people sing that song to you is completely awkward and embarrassing. No. Just … no.
But birthdays are the first form of tradition we become attached to, because who wouldn’t want cake and presents just for them?
Then comes Christmas, Hanukkah, Passover, Thanksgiving, New Year, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day – and they’re just some of the big ones.
Then we have family traditions. For instance, my family get together in November and bake bucket loads of cookies every year. And when I say bucket loads, I am talking BUCKET LOADS. It usually takes between 2 and 3 days to bake them all (8.30am-5.30pm, at least 4 or 5 people working). That’s the scale I am talking about. What can I say? We have a big family, and we like to eat.
I have mixed feelings about traditions. I like the fact that we find enjoyment in revisiting those things we have done every year for so many years. I like the fact that some traditions span generations and years before and after we are born and die. I like that aspect.
But traditions are also dangerous. We become too comfortable with the traditions we hold. We become set in our ways. We don’t want to deviate, we want to stick with what we know – our comfort zone, and the memories that remind us of childhood.
I am one such person. I like pattern; I hate change. When someone decides to disrupt my routine without telling me, or consulting me, I start to freak out. Though I am getting better with handling such things, I’m still not great. To all those who have to deal with me during those times, I apologise. Though I go along with the altered plans, I grumble and growl and generally dig my heels in as much as possible. I’m stubborn; very much so. I’m your friendly-neighbourhood Grumpy straight out of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
But is tradition good, or bad?
I’d like to think that it’s good. Not just because I am set in my ways, and I don’t like deviation from ‘the plan’, but because if we did not have tradition, we would have no vehicle in order to remember those things and people that we have lost. We carry out tradition to honour those who are no longer with us. We do it to remember who they were, and the joy and hope they have provided us with. They are an opportunity for us to look back and see how far we have come, though we still carry out the same tasks year in, year out. It gives us togetherness and kinship that oftentimes are out of our grasp.
See you Tuesday! I’ve got another five word challenge coming!
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