This I Believe

Danny - Plover, Wisconsin
Entered on October 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family


I can see it in my mind like it was yesterday. Can you smell the roaring fire in the hearth? Can you hear the Christmas music echoing through the house? It’s the family tradition I look forward to the most–putting up the Christmas decorations each year with my family. I believe in traditions.

The Friday after Thanksgiving has become a very special tradition at my house. My parents are home, my sisters are home from college and there’s a distinct chill in the air. We will light a fire in the fireplace, load the CD player with Christmas music and carry up all the boxes with decorations from the basement. I get a chill up my spine just thinking about it. Each ornament we unwrap from its 11 month hibernation brings back a particular memory. We often spend many minutes with the “remember when we got this one” story. This family tradition has evolved to the point that only certain things can be put up by certain family members.

I think this tradition goes back a long way. I remember being six years old and only being able to touch the wooden ornaments because the others were too fragile. The music has also evolved. We originally had only a few CD’s and now we’ve got a bunch. I think I first began to appreciate just how important this day was when my older sister refused to go on a date because she had “important family matters to attend to.” Those were her exact words.

I have daily traditions of my own too. They’re not as flashy or even as fun, but I find myself very connected to them. Every day I take a shower, brush my teeth, and get dressed and leave for school. Some may call this a routine, but I like to think of it as a tradition. In a routine, each activity is required to accomplish the task. In a tradition I do each of these tasks because it makes me feel better about myself and my day.

Game day traditions are important to me also. I must eat a chicken sub from Subway and stop at Kwik Trip to get a Monster energy drink. The energy drink thing is probably just psychological, but it is tradition.

To me tradition is very important. It really helps connect people even when time and circumstance are pulling them away. I know that some day one of us won’t be able to be home for hour decorating tradition, but it won’t be because they could help it. I’m going to teach my children about traditions someday and I hope they do the same. Why? Well, because it’s tradition.