Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Article #226 New Traditions

What are some of your traditions or cherished family practices that have been passed down through your family for generations? I’m sure you can look back on your childhood and recall how you celebrated special occasions like holidays or weddings or funerals. In the good old days, families lived closer to each other and gathering was easier.

 Now you can have grown adult children living anywhere in the USA or even abroad. Getting together to share any kind of family celebration or holiday is expensive and difficult to arrange given everyone’s busy schedules; not to mention making time for all the in-laws involved and their time with these same families. It’s easier for retired parents or grandparents with good health and no child rearing responsibilities to go visit the kids or some of them.

 We’ve lost many family traditions because of our modern society. It seems that only a major occasion like a family wedding or funeral can bring a whole family together. I remember when my 89-year-old mother died. It had been several years since she had seen or been together with all four of my sons and their families because of the travel distance involved and her poor health, which limited her traveling.

 Perhaps what is needed nowadays is a NEW family tradition. As parents or grand parents age, let’s have a REHEARSAL FUNERAL or an annual FAMILY REUNION where everyone makes a special effort to visit the oldest family member at least on a significant birthday9 say 70-75-80-81-82-83 while they are still alive. That would be an improvement. I have heard numerous relatives at funerals comment on how they wished they’d visited the deceased family member more often. My mom would have been 95 this month, which means I’m getting up there in years also. I tried to get my whole family together for my 70th birthday, but it didn’t happen. Now I’m waiting for my 75th or perhaps I should just go visit them, while I’m still able.

 In our digital world, I know it’s possible to communicate via email or Facebook or Skype. Somehow, it’s not the same as a personal visit where you can look directly into a loved ones eyes and hug them which is so much more satisfying than just typed or written words or texts in emails. Maybe we need a new national holiday called Family Togetherness Day? NEXT TIME: Teaching Moments.

1 comment:

SandyCarlson said...

I thinking making a point to visit the family elders would be great. With Skype and Facetime and so many other ways to stay connected, perhaps some family traditions will come back to life and infuse our days with deeper meaning.