Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Sometimes Tradition isn't all it's cracked up to be! "

Do you find Christmas whirls around quicker and quicker every year?

Sometimes it seems like you've barely caught your breath and it's Christmas again!

And sometimes, the whirling can mean we just pick up the same old  habits and traditions from last year, the year before, and even several decades ago!

My year has whirled this year.

Engagement_ringThe week before Christmas last year, our son Lovable Geek and his girlfriend Miss GG announced their engagement. 

We were having a massive Christmas last year - all four generations of my family gathering for the first time. 

I remember being excited at the engagement, but ever so slightly frustrated at having to refocus on engagements, when I had so much to think about at Christmas!   (Alright!  So I'm not a perfect mother!  At least I'm honest!)

This year has been the Year of the Wedding.  So, the year has flown!  And the wedding was last week. 

So here we are with a very different Christmas coming up.  Two of our three sons live interstate.  Having just been visiting for the wedding, they won't be able to return here for Christmas.  They've both followed lovely ladies to opposite sides of the continent from us now! So they're starting up new lives and traditions or picking up another family's influences and traditions.

Some humans can be so comforted by traditions that they can forget that they are not necessarily sacred. 

All old traditions were new once! 

They all had a starting point.  They were all created because someone had a need to do something a certain way.  Perhaps it was even a need to do it differently from something that had been familiar for many years.

In other words traditions are there for use until there time is up,  and then you create new ones to suit the new occasion.

Traditions are meant to evolve!

Rituals are symbolic gestures to mark important occasions and people.  But rituals and traditions have structures that can be twisted, tweaked or even discarded once they reach their use-by date.

Hot_xmas_dinnerAt Christmas time we tend to be steeped in traditions and habits - many of them WELL past their use-by date!

The classic example in Australia is the rich warm winter-comfort food of roasts, baked veges, and plum puddings. 

Those dishes were ideally suited to European Christmases, but are SO unsuited to our own hotBeach_picnic_2 Aussie Christmas.  We live in a world where fresh produce abounds and seafoods and picnics/barbecues are standard fare for our summers! 

So why maintain the tradition?  Usually because someone is scared of change, and protests so loudly, like any good squeaky wheel, until attention is paid to their desires.  Often that person isn't the one sweating over the hot stove in a hot kitchen on a hot summer's day! 

Traditions are often a cause of as much stress for some as they are a comfort for others.

Who deserves to have their say more?  Hmm!  Bears thinking about, doesn't it?

So what traditions do you have at Christmas that are passed their Use-By Date?  What are YOU going to do about them?


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