I’ve never been great with New Year’s resolutions, but I love family traditions. And what better time to pass on treasured gems like stories, recipes or tangible items than the New Year?
When I was growing up, my mother fixed chocolate gravy for breakfast every morning. I thought it was normal until my girlfriends started spending the night with me just to have Mama’s chocolate gravy. After I had children, I fixed chocolate gravy for them and my son, Aaron carried on the tradition with his children. And recently, I had the joy of teaching my grandson how to fix our family recipe for his culinary class.
Another tradition I started when my children were young was hanging streamers in their doorway for them to wake up to on their birthday. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw streamers hanging from my granddaughter’s bedroom door on her first birthday.
Traditions don’t have to be spectacular. It can be music, stories, memories, or a skill. My daddy passed on his love of old-time gospel and country music to us kids, even teaching my sister how to yodel.
A simple phrase can become a tradition. When my husband was overseas during our first year of marriage he always added a special PS to his letters, “I love you more today than yesterday but less than tomorrow.” That became our mantra through 45 years of marriage.
Some traditions just happen. Before our first child was born, my husband’s dad pulled Carl’s old wooden high chair from the attic. I loved it. We took it home, restored it, and used it with all of our babies and grandbabies.
An antique fold-out desk from Carl’s youth was also passed on to us. After I painted it, our son claimed it and used it all through school. After he left home, we totally refinished the desk and it is now ready to pass it on to our grandson.
I have a feeling everyone has a tradition to pass on. A song, picture, memory, or just a special way to say, “I love you!” What a fun way to celebrate the New Year.