As I clipped the quaint silver cross onto a fir branch I took a good look at it. A little shabby, bare on the edges, bits of broken wire on some of the corners. Years ago we spray painted it and sprinkled on fresh glitter to spiffy it up, but it’s still looking a little dilapidated. I suppose it has a right to be. It’s as old as I am, and I’m a little worn around the edges myself.
My parents bought this ornament the year I was born and it has been on every one of my Christmas trees. We have a half dozen other old fashioned ornaments that were on my grandparents’ trees and have been passed through the family ranks, too. None of them are really beautiful anymore, and look a little out of place among the newer baubles, but we treasure them anyway.
We have a delicate white baptismal dress and underslip that has been worn by three generations of babies in our family over a period of almost seventy-five years… all but two of the babies also cuddled into a handmade white shawl that is fifty years old.
Ask any of my family about Christmas fruitcakes and you’ll hear that they have to be made on November 11th as they have been every year since I started making them back in the 1960s, and every family member present must take a turn stirring the batter, regardless of their age. (We won’t mention the ongoing argument about whether dark or light cakes are better tasting!)
Traditions. How do they get started? What makes them endure? And do traditions find their way into your writing? What do they tell readers about your characters?