Tradition is not a stagnant concept. This I’ve learned, though it’s taken me a very long time to understand, accept, enjoy and cherish the changes in tradition, those we’ve brought with us, those we’ve added, those we’ve created and those we continue to welcome to the mix and incorporate into our own.

As with every other year and every other family, our holiday traditions are different this year – some faces missing and some new ones added, old family recipes alongside new creations, heirloom decorations strung with new-fangled light strands, stockings sewn lovingly 50 some years ago hung beside dollar store stockings to replace those lost (though no doubt buried in someone’s room).

Traditions are meant to change, a way to honor the past, while connecting with the present and lasting somehow into the future. I love that the traditions of our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and our uncles have become my own, differentiated from my siblings’ traditions by our own lives, our own families, and our own interpretations, yet still recognizable from our youth.

Change is inevitable and beautiful. And hard. And sad. And hopeful, for yesterday, for today and for tomorrow.

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