Artwork: Home Dinner II (Family Series) by Yau Bee
The smell of the hall closet in my home growing up is one of my favorite smells. The closet is where my mom stored all the Christmas boxes. I remember as a child becoming so anxious and overcome with excitement from all the lights and music and smells I wanted to burst. Every Christmas morning we were met with the task of waking my father. Notably known as Mr. Scrooge. We would pounce on top of him begging for him to wake up. Mind you it was 8:00 in the morning. He would bat us off feigning sleep mumbling, “Ba-hum-bug!” It is the memories we create that bind each year to the next. Waking my father up on Christmas morning was part of the Christmas festivities. While I rememebr a few coveted Christmas presents I so badly wanted I mostly remeber the smell of Christmas and the repeated traditions that made Chrstmas delightful.
The Holidays can be a marvelous time of year. In my young little family I watch as their little brains transform the ordinary tinto extraordinary. This magical world of theirs fills with excitment at every turn. In an excerpt from a book entitled, “Strengthening Our Families” it states that, “When conceived in principles of righteousness…a heritage of family customs can serve as the social glue that holds families together, ushers family members through difficult life passages, and weaves loving ties…”
Helen Bateman author of “Roots and Wings: A Book of Family Traditions” wrote, “parents must give their children two things: roots and wings. Give them roots to keep them grounded through tough times. Give them wings to soar above everything, explore new worlds and fly farther than we ever did.” Family traditions are rituals that link us to the past while providing a foundation for the future. Sharing our stories and past rituals gives us roots and wings. Simple rituals unanimously agreed upon as a family can be long lasting. They give us a sense of family connection or roots. Our personal identity is founded on traditions. These traditions define our character. They strengthen and mold our morals and values. The more traditions our family fosters the more secure we feel thus allowing for greater personal freedom and possibilities, wings.
Traditions set the mood in our home bringing warmth, fun and unity to our families. Caryl Krueger wrote, “traditions unite a family in love, end divisions and are imperishable gifts to those who follow after us.” Traditions are not limited to a holiday or celebration. Any repeated ritual can be a tradition. Reading stories and singing songs at bedtime is a family tradition. Gathering together every Sunday for brunch is a tradition. Playing music after the evening meal, family breakfast, family counsel and even small gestures or sayings help add excitement and charm within our homes.