Traditions pave the way.

Never far away

She was our third kid for the sixteen years we had her, and she will have a spot somewhere on our Christmas trees for as long as I’m the one doing the decorating. We used to have a red braided rug just like the one this lab is sleeping on. Our yellow lab Ginger logged in a lot of nap hours on said rug, so the first Christmas without her I bought this ornament and clipped it to the tree. That’s been the practice for the past six years. It’s become a tradition. My take on traditions is that they are like friends we invite back for a short visit every year. Our daughters, as well as friends who visit, look for ‘Ginger’ on the tree when they come for the holidays.

That same Christmas our youngest daughter Jennifer started another tradition for our family. She created the Christmas Wish box you see in the photo below.

That Christmas evening before we all said our good-byes she handed us small slips of paper and instructed us to write our wish for the approaching New Year. We all complied, placed them inside the box, and she took it back home with her for safekeeping until the next Christmas. There’s one major rule: No one is allowed to say their wish out loud.

She’ll be bringing that box home in another week, and at the end of Christmas night we’ll open it up, read our own wish for 2010—share it only if we want to–and then we’ll write down a new wish for 2011.

I honestly can’t remember the exact wish that I wrote 12 months ago, but as a writer looking to expand her horizons I have a faint idea,  and I am looking forward to rereading it.

A writer friend of mine shared the following quote with me that she remembered from some local radio program: Traditions are fine as long as they are tempered by the progress today brings.

In my case—writing down my wish helps me lay a mental plan for moving ahead—as a writer.

If you were asked to commit to a wish for 2011—do you know what it would be?

"Wishes Enclosed"

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7 thoughts on “Traditions pave the way.

  1. Once again your words inspire and make me think we need to do more in the traditions department. Holidays have become more difficult for me these last few years. The loss of dad and especially Sue, who delighted in Christmas, and always made sure our families stayed connected. The year she died I bought a special ornament for my tree with her picture inside it. It hangs on the front every year with a pink breast cancer ribbon ornament right next to it. I need to find a way to bring back the joy that use to surround us over the holidays. I need to remember our childhood Christmas’, the Sunday school programs, gathering at grandparents houses and the special Christmas treats. Your words helped me remember. Thanks!!

    • Okay, then, Kel. You’ve allowed me to start my new work week on a good note. I positively love encouraging people to become more aware of these special times and actions and then sharing it forward. Things like Sue’s ornament helps you remember she really is still here with you in her own way.

      But I don’t deny that these holidays can bring on the blues as well. We are still human, aren’t we?

      Thinking fine thoughts for you this season then.
      “Bec”

  2. Wow. I really enjoyed this thought. I wrote something similar in my own blog. I agree entirely that it’s almost like we -need- tradition. It’s something so human and organic to our structures as beings.

    In any case, you’re a great writer. I hope you might stop by my blog and like what you see.

    -From Pen to Cursor.

    • Good day, Mark, and thank you for stopping in, and leaving me a note.

      I like the name you gave your writing blog, and I will indeed take a look.

      I think it would be a good deal if we writers of writing-flavored blogs could build a supporting network out here.

      See you again!

  3. Becky, this is a lovely story. It felt good to read it as though it were my own.

    If I made a wish for next year it would be that I would make a committment to excercise even if it was just taking a walk three times a week. I say that, but I don’t do it. Only two years ago I enjoyed swimming laps and felt like a jock. It made me feel good all over, even in my head. I’m pleased with the things I’ve accomplished but displeased with how easily I’m putting aside my health and well-being. As a very senior citizen, this is NOT the time to become a sedentary computer person. But that’s what I am, and I can tell that I’m not as strong as I used to be two whole years ago. Maybe I’ll make a resolution and maybe I won’t. In any case, I really liked this post.

    • Commit to the walks, Betty. They will bring you far more good than harm, physically, mentally-and then that translates into the writing work world.

      Some days this computer sitting can really make us go sluggish, and that makes it hard to work really well.

      My push come January will be finding the novel a “doorway….” Will need lots of clearheaded energy and ego for that!

  4. For many years we had a blank page journal with a Lion on the front, which on special holidays would be passed around for just a few words or thoughts from those present. My mother and sister wrote in it and have now passed on. It is a wonderful thing to go back and read in the “Lion’s Journal” the words of my mother on her happiness of being with her family at Christmas, and see it in her own hand.

    In the name of “progress” we discontinued it after she passed, but it still touches me and will touch other in years to come to read the various thoughts of family about time well spent…with family.

    Happy you wrote on the traditions of your family. They are lovely, and your dog ornament reminded me of the “Greyhound Christmas Tree” I kept at my business with ornaments brought in over the years for my greyhounds. I have many pictures of it, and they bring great happiness.

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