Simple pleasure of the week: traditions

I used to scoff at traditions. I vowed I'd never have a wedding, didn't see the point of holiday decorations, and wished to avoid walking at graduation. I've realized, however, through life experience, and through my experience as a child and family therapist, that traditions are important. Traditions not only establish and provide the backbone of a culture, but they also bond families. There's a reason the human race has traditions in every culture, dating back as long as cultures have been around. We need them. They enhance our life. Traditions and rituals provide symbolic markers for events. Funerals, weddings, and birthdays all serve the purpose to honor a life event, and they were created by our ancestors for a reason. When planning our wedding, I realized how much more weight a wedding provided to the experience of getting married. The planning, invitations, and loved ones to share the day with, all contributed to the magnitude and importance my wedding day will have in the entirety of my life. My husband and I get a special Christmas ornament every year to signify something important that happened in the year. The above ornament was purchased the year Matt's grandmother died in honor of her because she loved raccoons. Every time we look at it, we think of her. Every year we put Christmas music on, pick out our tree, and hang the ornaments together. It's a wonderful tradition, and one that bonds us. When we hang our special ornaments we discuss the memory associated with that ornament, and it helps establish the culture of our family. If you don't celebrate holidays, you can always start other traditions, like a special meal on Sundays, or annual family vacation. Try it out, begin creating traditions of your own and see how it feels. If you have any awesome family/friend traditions I'd love to hear about them in the comments below. Happy weekend everyone.