I have two favorite weekends every summer.
I’ve probably already told you this.
But, I’ll tell you again.
I love Father’s Day weekend and I love Labor Day weekend.
These weekends aren’t my favorite simply because they come before holidays worthy of celebration. These weekends promise me completely uninterrupted family time, and isn’t that the best kind of time?
I’ve been thinking about all the plans and details of this weekend for several weeks now. But, last night I had some time to sit down with my boyfriend and help him with some of his homework.
He began his last semester at Eastern Kentucky University earlier this month and to complete his degree he needed to sign up for a couple more free elective classes.
We decided online classes would work into his schedule best and one of the only ones we could find available was Anthropology 120: the study of Cultural Anthropology.
His first assignment was to participate in a discussion board about traditions. As I was helping him I started trying to think about traditions my family has established over the years. I was even able to think of some new traditions we’ve begun just this year.
W. Somerset Maugham once said, “Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”
I find that this quote fits perfectly to my immediate family and how our traditions have been shaped and molded as my siblings and I grew up.
I can remember as a kid it was a tradition to take a trip to an amusement park every summer. I remember the tradition of always coming straight home from school, having a snack and finishing homework before play time. I remember birthday traditions of candles and cakes and presents. I also remember never being able to open a present on Christmas Eve.
Things change though… tradition is not a jailer. It does not force us to continue with the same behaviors we always have.
As an adult, my family now has new traditions. We open some gifts on Christmas Eve, but only those that are from the family… none from Santa. As I’m no longer a student, the homework rule doesn’t apply. It has taught me that value of finishing work on time, though. Nowadays one of my favorite traditions is Sunday dinner at my mother’s house.
I find the the traditions of my childhood were merely guides to traditions that would be evident in my adulthood.
I can’t even imagine how these traditions will change as my siblings and I continue to establish families, find significant others, get married, graduate college, move away from home, etc.
I am so excited it’s Labor Day weekend because one of my all-time favorite traditions is just around the corner: a family reunion.
Hundreds of members of my extended family filter in and out of a campground my grandma’s generation built for this reunion.
The whole weekend is full of traditions we only get to experience once a year.
I am excited for Sunday morning church service with the WHOLE family with my cousin Tommy giving the word. I am excited for staying up late and laughing and dancing on Saturday night with my family. I am excited for a chili dinner and most of all for chocolate gravy and homemade biscuits for breakfast.
Then there’s alway a bid table where we all bring gifts and buy tickets to put in to win them with the ultimate gift being a quilt with everyone’s names on it.
The quilt changes every year as babies are born and marriages take place. We never leave off those who have passed away in the years before though.
Do I need to say that I’m excited again? Or, did you get the picture?
I pray that my readers take the time to remember and appreciate their own family traditions this holiday weekend.