I waver in the area of traditions, unsure whether I like them or not. My problem is that traditions and ruts are close relatives – the first being good, the second an evil twin – and I have trouble telling the difference. And once the purpose is lost the first can transmogrify into the other.
Our family has a very good Christmas Eve tradition. We spend Christmas Eve with the Barnabys – three generations of us and of them. We’ve done this now for several years and it’s a tradition we intend to continue. Family traditions are good when they bring families together.
What brought us together at first was the Polish emphasis on Christmas Eve and the Barnabys’ willingness to do something with us. Poland has serious traditions surrounding this particular evening. We’ve watered them down considerably, but enjoy what we do as we do it.
For example, an authentic Polish Christmas Eve meal must have twelve different items. We didn’t actually count and no doubt fell short, but since we were all ready to explode anyway, we didn’t care. My apologies to Polish purists, but we left out the carp completely, a Christmas Eve essential. No sense exploding over an overly bony fish that would be hard to find in Indianapolis anyway.
And we sang a few Christmas carols. And we enjoyed just being with the Barnabys. Family traditions are good when they bring families together.