Everyone has traditions. Most people hold those traditions dear this time of year.

You grow up with Christmas (I’m using me as an example — if you celebrate anything else, feel free to substitute the holiday of your choosing) being done in a certain way each year. Every year you do the same things in the same order, because that’s just what you do.

Traditions are a product of the time. The fact that I went to my grandparents’ house to eat dinner every year probably had a lot more to do with the fact that they were next door for much of my life. The Christmas tree was brought by the angels on Christmas eve — it just sprang up by magic.

That’s me.

If we didn’t live next to my grandparents or they weren’t around then I guess a different tradition would have happened to me.

En did different things growing up.

When we got married there was the conundrum: who’s traditions will win out?

We tried to do some strange combination of doing everything from both sides and that caused nothing but heartache all around.

Then we settled into our own tradition. It’s a mix of mine and En’s plus what we ourselves bring to the mix.

– = –

We don’t have kids though. Kids bring a new angle to the picture.

The tradition they will remember is whatever you do. You can’t treat them like puppets and force them into whatever tradition you had before. Traditions, like I was saying before, are a product of the time. That time has passed. The circumstances that led to whatever traditions you had have changed — people move or leave our lives somehow, the world changes, kids are born, you change.

Recognize that you are in a different time and place. Recognize that you are not the center of the universe. Realize that those around you bring their own traditions.

Much of the holidays are for the kids. What you do now has to not be about upholding what you had growing up, but what they will look back on and smile.