Traditions used to be such a big part of my family when my grandparents were alive. For instance, every Sunday we got dressed up, went to church, and then headed to Gram's for dinner. Almost everything she made was homemade, from her noodles, to her biscuits, to her pies and most things in between. And boy she could cook! I can still see her now, dancing around in her half-apron, singing a little tune.
As far as traditions go, holidays were never the exception. Every holiday was spent at my grandmother's house. On Easter morning, Mom and I would get all dressed up and go to church, then we'd head to my grandmother's house for the big meal and holiday festivities. Gram and I would color eggs, then she'd turn them into deviled eggs that went on the dinner table.
It was comforting to have those traditions and consistencies in my life.
When I moved to another state, got married and had children of my own, my mother-in-law took the place of my grandmother. All holidays were at her house, she cooked a big meal, and my sister-in-law and I orchestrated the festivities for the kiddos. Then the women retreated to the kitchen to help clean up (and the guys went outside or took naps, lol). This kind of gathering wasn't unique to me, and it seemed like most everyone I knew experienced the same kind of holiday gathering. Food, family, and fun.
Today I'm not seeing those traditions as consistently as I once did. People are traveling during the holidays, arguing because they DON'T want to go to grandma's (ack, who'd have thunk it?!?), resentful that they feel pressured to go to their in-laws, and so on and so forth. Those are just a few examples. You've probably seen something similar with someone you know too. As a result of the lost consistency of holiday tradition, the holidays just don't seem as special as they used to (or maybe that's just me?).
Yesterday my husband and youngest got haircuts at the barber. The lady cutting my son's hair was telling me how her grandchildren were in Florida for the holiday, and you could see she was visibly upset about it too. She said, "I was thinking about it today and wondering what are they going to do for their eggs this year? I guess just a plastic egg hunt if anything." You could tell the idea didn't sit well with her. She was obviously the one the kids came to on the holidays to color eggs. I betcha' she usually made a big deal of the day and was happy to do it too. And this year, she and her husband will be home sans kids on Easter Sunday.
It got me to thinking, and looking around me, and I noticed for the first time (or actually paid attention for the first time) that Christmas aside, there really isn't a lot of merit being given to the holiday traditions the way there used to be.
|Every year dad hides the eggs, usually he's still in his jammies. ;)|
We're deviating from the norm this year. We did last year too. Though we always have our egg hunt and Easter baskets, we're more inclusive now. It's no longer a big deal, or a normal thing, to have the big family meal and family festivities as one big group. Families seem to be doing things more and more on their own, and grandma's house is not the first place everyone wants to go. I'm not sure I like it. I wonder if my younger children will have those fuzzy, happy memories of holidays the way I do?
Don't get me wrong, we celebrate the day, and we enjoy it, but never with the consistency from my youth. We treat it as a holiday, a special day to do something fun or out of the ordinary (whatever it is we've decided to do for the day). We don't treat it as a traditional holiday with traditional household/family norms. Maybe we're missing out.