Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What Happened to Tradition?

Do you ever stop and wonder why people stop following traditions? Whether they are holiday traditions or just simple family things that you do year after year... why do people stop?

Case in point: I used to have our Christmas cards ready and we would stop and mail them Thanksgiving night after we would leave my parents house. For weeks I would wait for the post office to get in that year's selection of Christmas stamps and then I'd happily settle down and find the perfect cards and write in them (or some years include a letter updating everyone on what was going on in our family). I think I stopped doing cards two or three years ago. Which is really sad. Because when I was younger, I would love to come in and go through the cards that my parents received from friends and family.

My mother still sends Christmas cards. In fact, they ran out of cards this year and I offered to go through my storage tub of cards (because I used to buy them in bulk!) and took her some so that she could keep up with returning cards to all of their friends who had sent them one after the initial mailing went out. As I was looking for the appropriate cards for them to send, I realized that my stash of cards was really old. I had some cards from when I left Delta - I distinctly remembered buying these blue cards with "All the Best" on the outside and "Always" on the inside that year. (I was very depressed about my decision to leave...so this has always stuck in my mind). I had cards that had Santa sitting at a computer, looking at a print out of the naughty and nice list. Let's face it - Santa's got to stay up with the latest technologies... I figured he'd probably have a smart phone or at the least an Ipod that would do that for me. There were funny cards. Cards for pictures. I'm telling you - I could open my own stationery store for the holiday season.

When I took in a huge amount of outgrown jeans and t-shirts that had been The Bug's, I decided to load the box full of cards into the back of the van as well. I hope that somewhere, someone will benefit from the cards. At the same time... it made me really sad. When we were first married, we'd decorate the archway from our family room to the kitchen with garland and the cards that we received that year. That was our tradition until we moved here and then we'd display our cards on the mantel with the stockings and garland.

I guess what I am wondering is when do we decide things are too much trouble and decide to give up the traditions that meant so much to us at one time?

No comments: