We’ve all got ‘em, whether we decide to keep ‘em or pass ‘em on, we have all experienced our fair share of family traditions. Now I’m not talking about receiving that dreaded fruitcake every Christmas from your dear Aunt Sallie or even having to sit through your Dad’s favorite black and white flick (one that’s less desired). I want to focus on the traditions that everyone loves and looks forward to – the ones we either pass down from generation to generation or those we choose to make and keep for our own children. These traditions become welcome memories that are built upon year after year, and they give us something special to look forward to as we spend time together.
For the past few weekends, I’ve come to realize that I am continuing a weekend breakfast tradition that my grandparents shared with my mama and her sisters some years ago. Saturday morning biscuits and gravy or Granddaddy Bob’s buttermilk pancakes are prized possessions around these parts, and I take joy in knowing that these Saturday morning pleasures were started and enjoyed around my Geemama’s kitchen table when my mama was a girl. It didn’t occur to me that I was even carrying on a tradition until my mama shared her joys of memories with me about those same buttermilk pancakes that both Naomi and I inhale – made from scratch by her Daddy who passed when she was young. His recipe is enjoyed by multiple generations now, and although I never got the opportunity to meet him, he is honored in our home and makes us smile every other weekend – now that’s a tradition worth keeping!
Since starting a family of my own in the past two years, my husband and I have created some traditions of our own as well. They started out spontaneously fun, and since having so much fun with them, we’ve decided to keep ‘em and add to ‘em over the years. Even before our daughter was born, we have been collecting magnets and Christmas ornaments from all over the globe – trinkets from places we’ve visited and special trips we’ve taken that we want to keep forever. We write the dates and locations from where they were purchased on the back, and these small tokens that we collect spark happy memories and hilarious conversations each year as we pull them out to put on the tree.
Another tradition we just started last year also happens around Christmas – the night before Christmas. Since all of our relatives live outside of Savannah, we decided to skip the big Christmas Eve dinner and instead, we head to Waffle House! It’s a fun way to come together and bring a smile (and generous tip) to others who may have to work all night instead of being with their families. And well, let’s face it. It’s hard to pass up a Waffle House breakfast any time of year!
Family traditions are considered keepers for not only the memories they help us to create but also the happiness they bring – small parts of each year that make up big parts of our lives. What traditions do you and your family enjoy? Are they passed down from generations or created all your own? I hope that they create as much laughter and good times for you as they do for my family and me.