I got to thinking about traditions the other day. What constitutes a tradition? Is it something that has to have happened for so long that you don't remember when, or even where, it started? Is it something that you did several years back, a few years back, and then again just recently? Is it something you decided one day, just a couple of weeks ago, that you are going to start doing? I ask because it seems that in the scheme of things there are as many traditions as there are people of the world and also just as many that have no traditions at all, and that, in itself, is the tradition. Regardless of how they are born, be it recent or older than Christmas itself, I think there is something almost as magical in a tradition as there is in the season as a whole.
When our first daughter was born in 2002 I knew that I wanted to make everything special, especially the holidays. I'm sure that I am not the only parent in the world that has these thoughts. However, making a tradition is hard. Knowing where to start and what to focus it on can be difficult. That year, I bought her a wooden ducky as her baby's first Christmas ornament. It wasn't much, as we didn't have much, but it was white and pink and I carefully wrote 2002 on it. Then 6 days before Christmas in 2003 our second daughter was born. Sadly, I don't recall getting her a baby's first Christmas ornament. But, in the years that followed, as we would walk through the Christmas sections of various stores, the girls would ooh and ahh over the glittery and shiny baubles and we would let them each pick one. Next thing I know, without it even being planned, we had begun our first family tradition. Then in 2008 our third daughter was born. I knew then, with all my heart, my family was complete and that we were going to make the best of the tradition we had borne.
Each ornament discovered is as unique as the girl who picked it out. They get to pick only one new ornament each year, as I think the joy is in finding that one ornament that is the most special to them that year. (This of course does not include those that are hand made or received as gifts.) My heart was so filled with warmth this year as we were decorating our tree for the season. As I was sitting back and listening to them try to remember where they picked the ornament up at, who some of them belonged to, and what they wanted to get for the next year, I knew that our tradition was special to them too. Our tree is an eclectic display of personality and likes. There are no specific themes or colors, just a tree filled with tradition and love.
Merry Christmas from our house to yours.