During the holidays, we can enjoy many opportunities to revisit and exercise traditions. They provide important links to the past, and a foundation for future generations to relate to their family history. These important historical links take the form of celebrations, decorations, rituals, and routines. When past rituals no longer work, we make up new ones. This year, we celebrated the week before Christmas, the actual day, and New Years weekend with those who were available at the time. Grinches are not allowed at our house. Thanks to good weather and good cheer, it all worked out.
Sometimes new traditions evolve. At our Columbine Genealogy Society, I learned about a Southern tradition of eating black eyed peas for good luck on New Years Day. We can all use good luck. I cranked up the crock pot and cooked a batch as a side dish with our New Years roast. They were pretty darn good! I can’t say I’ve had especially good luck in the tentative first days of the new Year, but I haven’t had any bad luck either. Yet.
As I pack away Christmas decorations and ornaments, I recall stories brought to mind about how each one was acquired, or about people who gave them to us as gifts. Once the holidays are boxed up and stashed away for the next eleven months, many interesting prospects and challenges await. It is exciting to anticipate a clean slate with new possibilities for writing, touching history, and preserving stories of pioneers.
Joyce B. Lohse, 1/5/10