Saturday, 23 April 2011

family rituals

I am the carrier of tradition and ritual in our little family. And I love it - this passing on from generation to generation, seeds of mystery and possibility and meaning and hope. Things that anchor us to our yearly cycles. That tie us to the seasons, and to the depth of ancient religious festivals. I love this.

I've found that our kids can create traditions as well, or remind us of something done once with the expectation for repetition, year after year. Like our seder supper.

I watch their excitement as I bring out seasonal boxes - some kitsch, some beauty, all reminders of this season. They love to help decorate, to make a space for this special time.

I often think about the high holiday rituals we celebrate around Christmas and Easter, and how to make those seasons meaningful outside of the consumerist bent. Both of these celebrations were ones I grew up with and have found memories of our family times together.

We also had a meaningful winter solstice last year, and the seder meal has become an important part of our Easter celebrations. For Thanksgiving we've celebrated the Feast of Booths for the past 2 years with our church. I love how the seder and feast of booths include storytelling and symbolic foods as part of the tradition.

I tell myself that these rituals and traditions are for my children, but really they're for me too - to ground me, guide me, give me purpose. I want to feel like I'm passing something on - from my grandparents and my parents to my own children - memories of Easters with paska bread and egg cheese, Christmas feasts with jam-jam and pfeffernusse cookies. Foods that become meaning.

Here's a CBC podcast I enjoyed about family ritual.

What family rituals and traditions are important to you?

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