Today marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover, and FOLK Magazine’s 2013 Journal Challenge urges us to reflect on the importance of remembering. It has been said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Remembering past mistakes and making corrections is critical for eventual success.
But what about remembering family and/or religious traditions? Are those important? The Jewish and Christian faiths place great importance on remembrance of religious traditions. The Passover itself was instituted by God as an annual remembrance of His deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. So is it important to remember family or religious traditions?
I say, yes, very much so. Just as the Christian church observes traditions such as the Lord’s Supper, baptism, singing familiar hymns, and having Sunday School classes, families observe certain traditions as well. What would Christmas and Thanksgiving be without traditions? How many families do we know who put up a Christmas tree every year or have a turkey dinner every Thanksgiving?
Are these traditions important? I believe they are very important, especially to children. They provide security–a constant in an unpredictable world. They provide connections to previous generations, and opportunities to spend time with people we would ordinarily not take the time to visit. We often do not even realize that we are creating traditions with our families when we really are.
I started a simple tradition in my home to help celebrate our birthdays. One year I bought a cheap foil banner with the words “Happy Birthday” and placed it across the top of our entertainment center over the television. I had gotten into the habit of placing birthday cards received on the top of the entertainment center and thought a banner would be a good way to show them off. I have done this every year for each birthday since the children were small. One year I couldn’t find the banner, and my daughter asked where it was. I dug a little deeper in the drawer where I keep it, and there it was, so up it went. Traditions do matter. Our children count on them.
What traditions do you feel are important?