That tingling sensation, a smile on my face, a tear to my eye, a fullness in my heart, a fond memory and perhaps sadness in the loss of a dear loved one. Memories from holidays past, family gatherings, birthdays, celebrations and losses, these are the times that evoke enduring memories and timeless tradition.
Many of my families traditions go back as far as I can remember and well beyond that. They are ingrained into my heart and my soul as they are with other family members, and over time, our shared moments have become threads to a tightly woven fabric that we call family traditions.
Through the passing of time, some traditions have come and gone, some new ones have been created, but there are those traditions that have become so much a part of me, just like the air that I breathe.
And no matter what has happened in life, somehow those traditions remain. Let’s take for instance, the ritual of baking certain cookies. I’m talking about that special cookie that my Sicilian Grandmother used to bake. Or the preparing of those specialty dishes for Christmas Eve. These are the traditions that evoke the fondest of memories. They started well before my grandmother, then she shared the cookie recipes and Christmas Eve dishes with my mother and father. I can so clearly remember waiting intending for the time that I was old enough to join in the preparation. The smells, the tastes, the laughter, the tears, they visit with me each year, never leaving. Those memories, traditions are as much of who I am as the freckles on my face.
Traditions are wonderful gifts that we can pass on for generations. They don’t cost us anything but yet somehow they can make you feel like the richest person on the planet. Through these traditions, I have been able to feel comforted in tough times and always connected to my family and my heritage. With each change in life, the passing of loved ones, illness, divorce, each tradition has remained and new ones have given birth. While the older traditions comfort me, the new ones fill me with excitement and anticipation for what the future holds.
My wish for each of you this Christmas Day, is that you surround yourself with comfort and joy, peace and hope, and make memorable your traditions and your time with those whom you love and care for.