Imperfect Traditions Are Just Fine With Me

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eiffel-towerThe holidays are a time of tradition for most families. Traditions are definitely important to me and I have quite a few that I fondly remember from growing up. I have tons of memories where the whole extended family got together for holidays and celebrations, but some of the ones that really stand out in my mind are ones with just me and my mom. I was really young but I still have vivid memories of a road trip we took from Virginia to Louisiana.

When The Kid and I moved to Texas, starting our own traditions became even more important to me since it’s just the two of us living far away from family. In April one of the tasks on the Happiness Project was to create a treasure house of memories. Since I’m revisiting some of my favorite happiness discoveries for the month of December, I figured this was the perfect time of year to focus on our traditions.

We usually put up the Christmas tree and decorate it on Thanksgiving. This year my birthday fell on Thanksgiving so between cooking a huge homemade dinner (yes!) and going to a movie, we managed to get the tree up but not decorated for the first time this year. I’ve been looking at it nekkid in our living room for a couple weeks now as a constant reminder that I needed to just get it done. We finally got to it last night.

We pick out an ornament each year to represent something significant that happened during that year. I love pulling out the ornaments and thinking about what we did. It sparks all kinds of fun conversations with laughter over things that went on. Like the camera ornament from a couple years ago for our International Tour of Texas Road Trip. We went to Rhome, Paris, Dublin, Palestine and more. All right here in Texas! Don’t you just love that theme? 😉

We laughed as we talked about me having to set up the tripod so far back to get us and the Texas Eiffel Tower in the same picture. There were quite a few shots of The Kid and the tower along with the back of me running to get there. I never did manage to make it in time with my inferior sprinting skills. Thankfully someone else showed up to visit the tower and offered to take the picture for us. Imperfect, yes. The memories will be with me (and hopefully The Kid) forever.

We also talked about our New Year’s Eve tradition of going to the grocery store and picking out anything and everything that we want to eat. A nothing is off limits buffet. That’s the great thing about traditions. They aren’t just about the moment. They also spark great times leading up to them each year and memories afterwards reliving them.

Great moments are often imperfect but those often end up the best stories of all. It got me thinking about traditions that we can start at other times of the year. Who says holidays are reserved for traditions? There are several other months in the year too. I have to get busy thinking.

What are some of the traditions in your family?

PS – I also recommend saving every picture you take even the imperfect ones. If I’d deleted the one above, there would be no documented evidence of the sprinting fiasco at the tower. It’s definitely worth preserving the memories for the laughter.

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