Monday, January 2, 2012


I've always loved the song that Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof sings, "Tradition!" His deep bellow of a song gives such depth and importance to the word.

As the New Year begins, I've been thinking about traditions a lot. I am currently reading Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" and in it she also thinks about traditions and how they provide connection and predictability, provide anticipation, security, and continuity and mark the passage of time in a happy way.

When I was younger, I was a stickler for tradition. I loved every little bit of Christmas and Hanukkah to be the same. The same people had to be there, the same music, the same food, and more. We had to listen to Christmas music while driving to Turlock for Christmas Eve. We had to deck the halls with holly, not put holly in a vase in the living room. We had to go to In N Out Burger on the way home (after stopping to see Christmas Tree Lane). We had to have Uncle Herms latka's at Hanukkah and had to put on a Hanukkah play. There were many like these, even for things non-holiday related like going to my cabin in Twain Harte. We had to pet the fake horsie tree on the way to get slurpees from 7-11 before going on a creek walk.

As I got older and my priorities shifted along with priorities of other family members, plus the availability of time and the additional distance from said traditions, some began to fall by the wayside. As I begin a new year, my fourth one in Seattle, I have realized that I am left with very few traditions and it is time for Phil & I to start some of our own. While we still light the menorah for Hanukkah and practice Christmas and Thanksgiving traditions every other year depending on which family "gets us" for the holidays, we need to create some Seattle specific traditions. One that we have begun is going to see the Gingerbread Village each year at the Sheraton downtown. We go to Pioneer coffee on Alki when it is super rainy and gloomy and we have nothing else to do.

I'd love to incorporate some traditions that others do and also create some Seattle specific traditions. What traditions does your family have? Do you have any Pacific Northwest specific traditions?
I'd love to feature a few traditions in a future blog post if you'd let me. :-) Just email or add your words to the comments section below.

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