Traditions: we’ve all got ‘em. They might be family dinners on special occasions, or having a particular kind of cake on your birthday (Jeanne Cake, natch), or popcorn at the movies, or meeting your friend for a 5k run in the park, rain or shine, every Sunday morning. What are your favorite traditions, large and small? What is it about your traditions that keep them going strong for you?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us RITUAL.
I am a great one for traditions and rituals. I guess I like them because doing the same thing on a regular basis makes me feel secure. No matter what else is changing in the world or in our lives these small things help to make me feel that all is well. When I carry out a ritual I can recall the pleasant memories of all the times I did that same thing before.
I especially like Christmas traditions and although we now live a long way from family and don’t often see them at Christmas time I still like to put up the Christmas tree to make the house festive. I always like to do it the weekend before Christmas and of course it must always come down 12 days after Christmas. Even the things I put on the tree are part of the ritual, most are ornaments that we’ve had for many years, some inherited from older relatives who are no longer with us. The other Christmas rituals involve making Christmas Puddings, one for us and one for my sister and enough mince pies for all of us. The first time I made mince pies for our family was when I was in my mid teens, mum had shown me how to do it and I took over the task and have made them every Christmas since the early 1970s. It wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
Summer seems to be full of “must do” traditions. Watching the first day of the Boxing Day Test Match on television, going to Hobart to see all the Sydney Hobart race yachts when they arrive, going to cheer on the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena with my friends Ally and Matt.
Another of my favourite traditions is one that I posted about recently. It is “The Scarecrow Run“. Every year as part of the Middleton Fair there is a Scarecrow competition. Hubby and I discovered it almost by accident on a drive and since then we’ve tried to go to see them every year. I started posting photos of my favourite scarecrows on my Flickr page and now, five years later I look back on all the photos from each year and I don’t want there to be a gap because I missed a year. I know it’s not really important but I like continuity.
When we both lived in South Australia my best friend and I with our respective husbands would always get together to see the latest “Star Trek” movie at the pictures. We live in different states now so that particular tradition has gone by the wayside but we both still go and see every new one that comes out and talking about Star Trek has been a thing for us since about 1969!
Hubby is not so ritualistic as I am but he does have one that he won’t miss. Every October he will spend a whole Sunday watching the Bathurst 1000 on television. He does watch other motorsports through the year but it doesn’t worry him to missthem. However, that day I know not to ask him to do anything or go anywhere and meals are served in front of the TV.
What keeps all these things going? I suppose that it is a little bit obsessive compulsive but I do like those familiar things and I don’t easily tire of things I enjoy. I still eagerly look forward to seeing what clever ideas people will have come up with for their scarecrows. I look forward to the spectacle of all the yachts being in the harbour and seeing familiar ones from previous races as well as new ones that take my interest. I look forward all year to eating those mince pies and Christmas pudding because I don’t allow myself to have them until Christmas even though I could make them any time.
If I was suddenly unable to do any of the things I’ve talked about any more it would sadden me very much but then I would still have my memories. Probably I would find some new traditions to take their place before long because that’s just how I am.