Spouse’s Corner: Traditions – The Backbone of the Holidays

By now the decorations are up, the menu is being set, the cards and invites are purchased and stamps have been budgeted. Well, maybe in a perfect world. But the thought process has traveled down that project list. We hold traditions to keep the family on track as to what the family does: traditions help define family values and heritage.

Some of these traditions can be left by the wayside without hesitation. I grew up in a Norwegian household. Lutefisk was always there on the table, but not anymore! Now I don’t even know if it is available in Michigan where I live. Oranges and walnuts were stuffed in our morning stocking and often were thrown out with the wrappings.

One firm tradition that my husband Dale and I held for our little family was moving. Oh yeah, rates right up there with credit card debt and paper cuts. However those orders did seem to arrive with a December move date a time or two. Change occurs and growth comes with it. We sought the adventure and the thrill of opening advent calendars on each side of the ocean. The new installation was like an unusual gift that had to be opened carefully. And we all did. The sharing of the adventure still lives on in our holiday celebrations that now include grandchildren. Life is good!

Be ready to stretch that backbone, add new experiences and explore family and local traditions. Pick up souvenirs that will help recreate a memory. Picture yourself twenty years down the road describing the life you are living now, and holding firm to the fun of the moment. What will your children say their favorite tradition is? Learning a new custom at each new place they live? Encompassing the traditions of their parents and grandparents? Creating a new treasured value that they can carry down through the ages?

Make that greeting card list and send your greetings to friends that are serving all around the globe. Bake cookies that you once made with your grandmother every year. Teach your children the customs of the country you are living in if you are overseas. And of course have a very Happy Holiday and a fantastic New Year.

Note: This article was originally published in our Military Family Newsletter.  Have you subscribed?:, December 14, 2010Military Life:,,

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