Recently my needle has been stuck on family traditions. I have been wondering if they have any value in todays society. Thinking back led to some interesting memories which I would like to share with you.
We were raised in a low socio-economic family. In those days we just said that mum and dad didn’t earn very much, life was so much more simple then. Our parents worked long hours for little money so a picnic far from home was a rare event.
The favourite spot however was a national park quite some distance from home. It didn’t have a great deal to offer except nature walks and pleasant picnic spots but to two city girls it was a great experience!The singing in the car wasn’t that great though.
The best part however was the finding of stone models of a pyramid and a sphynx. These were flawless examples of Egyptian monuments. On reading the plaque we found that they were built by a blind returned soldier. Amazing! He was totally blind and yet these were perfect in every detail. I think my parents knew about this when we first went there but they never acknowledged it.
What did we learn from these pleasant trips to the same place?
Well, we quickly learned that mum (who loved a cup of tea) would always forget the teapot – no tea bags in those days!
Everytime we visited that park we inspected the monuments and read the plaque. None of us ever tired of it. My sister and I learned that no matter the obstacle, if we want something badly enough we can achieve it with dogged perseverance and patience. After all this man did it, didn’t he?
We emigrated to Australia from England in November. My parents were very excited about their first Christmas in their new country. It didn’t take too long though for mum and dad to declare that there would be no more Christmas roasts in this heat.
From that first Christmas on our family joined another for picnics at various places. We enjoyed many different festive salad dishes which mum felt was much more in keeping with this new country they had adopted. Lots of fun but no more tradition or was there?
We continued this way until we children all entered adulthood and began raising our own families. Little by little the picnics away dwindled and we celebrated the occasion differently. Our parents were older, our children were younger and it was more convenient to celebrate in our homes now, at least that was what mum and dad suggested. They were right of course. Our friends had moved away so we all agreed that change was definitely in order. A new tradition began.
What did we learn from this change in our traditional Christmas celebration?
We learned to embrace change in all its different ways. Each stage of life needed to be accepted and enjoyed. Change is not to be feared. Tradition can be adjusted to suit differing needs. As mum was fond of saying “Nothing lasts forever.”
She was right of course nothing does last forever but somehow my parents wordless teaching has stood the test of time in her childrens lives. Wise people my parents!