I love traditions. I really do. I love the feel of something so familiar and comforting. A tradition is like an old friend that you’ve known forever. You might not see them often, but when you do, it’s like coming home. Traditions are wonderfully warm and full of happiness and all the things that make wonderful memories.
When Dax and I first got married, we had no incentive to make our own traditions. We just kept on with what we’d known forever. Except it wasn’t really that simple because we were trying to combine two completely different family histories with very different traditions. We stumbled through the first few years. When it came to holidays, we either visited my family or his. For birthdays, we joined his family. For Sunday breakfast we showed up at his parents. For decorating the Christmas tree, we went to my parents. Easter egg hunt? His parents. New Year’s pork pie? My parents. We had wonderful times and made many special memories, but nothing defined us. We were just an extension of our families. Nothing that said Dax and Stacie.
It wasn’t until we had our own kids that slowly, over time, without really even meaning to, we began to form our own traditions. Slowly, Sunday breakfast at his parents was replaced with our own tradition of early Mass and picking up taquitos to eat at our house. Our birthday celebrations began to center around us. We now decorate our own Christmas tree. It’s not to say that we no longer participate in our childhood traditions…sometimes we also join my parents and help decorate their tree (which is always, faithfully done on Thanksgiving weekend); sometimes we end up celebrating a birthday dinner for one of us at his parents; Dad still thinks of us on New Year’s and sends us a delicious pork pie. And we love that…all of it. We love still being a part of our families, yet we love being a family all of our own, too. A family we’ve formed with lots of love and time and yes, lots of our own traditions. Traditions like making muffins every Saturday morning, driving around to look at lights on Christmas Eve, a trip to Barnes & Noble on each of our birthdays, Sundays filled with family time.
We’re not completely an entity of our own…we still celebrate the big holidays with our extended families, blending our thoughts and ideas with our long-loved childhood traditions and we still stumble through uncharted territory at times, but we’re no longer simply a blurry extension of what we once were. We’re a beautiful blend of old traditions and new, defined simply by our love for what’s wonderfully warm and full of happiness and a deep desire to pass on the simplicity of comfortable, familiar traditions to our children.