Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Tradition . . . .

We love musicals in this house, especially the older ones.   Actually I can't think of too many musicals  that have been made in recent years, except for Les Mis, but in any case . . . we love watching musicals.  One of our favourites is Fiddler on the Roof.  The songs are spectacular and the story is so touching and endearing . . . probably because we know how the story really ends . . . (the holocaust and WW2) . . . but this story of this family and their small village, and the bravery and love of it's people  is a lovely one . . .  built upon the foundation of tradition.  

"Because of our traditions, we have kept our balance for many, many years. Here in Anatevka, we have traditions for everything: how to how to eat, how to sleep, how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered, and always wear a little prayer-shawl. This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, how did this tradition start? I'll tell you. I don't know. But it's a tradition. And because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is, and what God expects him to do."  ~Tevye 

Tradition is really important to family . . . next to love, it is a part of the fabric and glue which holds a family together. They can be as simple as always calling soup stewp because it's thick like a stew, but really a soup . . . or as complicated as sewing matching pajamas for all five of your children in the run up to Christmas!  Traditions involve time and commitment, but are always worth it in the long run, because they pay big dividends.  I can't tell you how thrilled I was one year, as I watched my oldest son's two children coming down the stairs via the ipad on Christmas morning . . .  and they were wearing matching pajamas!  (Albeit it in different colours.)  That spoke to my heart.  A value I had instilled in my son as a child was being passed on to his children. 

Family traditions help us to feel like we belong to something far greater than ourselves.  That sense of belonging is a warm and cosy feeling that we will probably never feel anyplace else, until we grow up and meet our true intended and have a family of our own, and then that feeling will not replace the old feeling, but will be an extension of what we already had . . . does that make sense?

When I was a child and we were in the car going someplace, every time we passed a Cemetary we knew without a doubt my father would ask the same old question . . . "How many people in that Cemetary are dead?"  The answer of course was all of them,  but we always had fun guessing how many there were when we were young.  Of course as we got older we knew the answer but we would still humor our father by guessing and letting him tell the punch line.  I found myself years later repeating this same exercise with my own children.   

 Happy Memories are a natural and wonderful by product of family tradition.  When my own children were growing up we had a cassette tape that we always played when we were on a drive in the car, long journey or short . . . all of our adventures were accompanied by the music of "Hooked on  Classics!"  Every childhood memory of journies and adventures taken comes with a sound track . . . and my children's is the music of  Tchaikovsky,  Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Bach on Disco steroids!  To this day when I hear this music my heart swells with love and happy memories.   A few years ago my son send me a sound byte of one of these discs and it was clear to me that this was a happy memory for him.   Happy memories stemming from a tradition that we never even realized we were building.

Things like Pancakes for breakfast whenever a friend stayed over night . . . buttermilk pancakes with peaches and Maple Syrup for breakfast whenever we visited Uncle Ewen and Aunt Micheline  ...whoopsie cake with Uncle Bruce, etc.   Traditions . . . 

 Family traditions create a special bond that you will never be able to share with anyone else.  Spending time together, doing things as a family . . . laughing together, playing together, talking together, crying together . . . sharing . . . these all help to create a special closeness, a feeling of togetherness and safety, especially when those traditions are positive ones.   As an adult I realized that my brother, sister and I share a special history with each other that we share with nobody else on earth.  It is a history which is as old as ourselves and which cannot be replicated no matter how hard we try.  I am so very grateful for that bond.   

My sister has been my best friend for 59 years, and my brother for 57.  We may go for weeks sometimes without speaking to each other, time and distance and the busy-ness of life sometimes gets in the way of contact . . . but that bond is never broken and when we do speak, it's as if there has been no time and space lost in between.  We share a history of family traditions and love and memories that are unique to us.  It's a special gift and we cherish it.


Tradition doesn't always look backwards though . . . it also looks forwards.   Traditions give us things to look forward to . . . its that happy feeling you get when you know something nice is going to happen, because it always has happened in that same special way.   Things like knowing that there is always going to be a tangerine in the toe of your stocking, and you are always going to have Turkey for dinner at Christmas . . . that you are always going to go as a whole to listen to the carols on Christmas Eve, or you are going to wake up on the morning of your birthday to a room filled with balloons . . . listening to the Queen's message together on Christmas Day . . . 


Traditions bring value to a family, and fill a child's heart with goodness.  They teach children that they are a part of something good and wholesome . . . a tradition well planned and executed can help to teach children wholesome values and morals . . . things which will help to stand them in good stead all of their lives.  Reading the scriptures together as a family, beginning and ending each day with family prayer . . . going to church together, helping each other out when the going gets tough, etc. 

As the Good Book says "Each shall seek his own kind". In other words, a bird may love a fish... but where would they build a home together?

The Bible also says that we should train up a child in the way in which he should go and he will not depart from it.  This is done by example, tradition . . . and  love. 

I am so very grateful that I have a heart filled with tradition and love and that I was able to share some of that with my children that they now share with theirs.   It is our legacy . . . 

”Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” 

What are some of the traditions you built as a family that still bring you joy?   I would love to hear about them! 

A thought to carry with you through today . . . ° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° "A friend is one that knows you as you are, 
understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, 
and still . . .  gently allows you to grow."
~William Shakespeare
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

Sometimes Shakespeare can be quite surprising don't you think! 


BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Today's Reading - 1 Nephi 17:31-47
Question What have you learnt from the reading today? Why do you think Nephi is referring to Moses' experiences? 

What I learntI love the descriptions that Nephi gives of what the Lord has done for them (and us). "The Lord hath created, He raiseth, He leadeth, He ruleth, He loveth, He loved, He Covenanted, He remembered, He did bring them, He did straighten them, He prepared." It's so loving. He also reminds the brothers that He destroyeth and curseth.  I always used to struggle with this, it didn't sound loving, until I realised that, this too is loving, if we look at it with an eternal perspective. We have come here to progress, and if people are not progressing, God moves them on to the next part of eternity, to be taught in spirit prison where hopefully they will take the Saviour's name upon them and keep His commandments. This helped me to understand the flood, also all the war chapters later on in the Book of Mormon.

I feel like Nephi is killing two birds with one stone here. Not only is he trying to show his brothers how much they are like the hard hearted Israelites, but also, I believe this record is for our day. And he is pointing to me, asking me, are you being like these my brethren? Is your heart hardening to the truth? to God's ways? Are you going to let the Lord help you through this journey,  you have to make it, you can't go round it,  don't be like my brothers or like the Israelites, please let the Lord help you. 

I like this quote by Elder Wirthlin which goes well with verse 45 and the phrase 'ye were past feeling'. Elder wirthlin says "Spiritual insensitivity isn’t just a problem for those with serious sin: I fear that some members of the Lord’s Church ‘live far beneath our privileges’ with regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some are distracted by the things of the world that block out the influence of the Holy Ghost, preventing them from recognizing spiritual promptings. This is a noisy and busy world that we live in. Remember that being busy is not necessarily being spiritual. If we are not careful, the things of this world can crowd out the things of the Spirit." Another quote I read recently that I love is this:  'If you have felt the influence of the holy ghost today, you may take it as evidence that the atonement is working in your life.'  
Tomorrow's Reading (Day 27) -1 Nephi 17:48-18:4
Question What have you learnt from the reading today? How can we build our lives "after the manner which the Lord had shown unto us"? 

(Sorry it I went on a bit, but my heart was full!) 


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Custard Filled Corn Bread.  This is delicious cut into squares and served warm for breakfast with a drizzle of Maple Syrup! 

Have a wonderful Wednesday.  Don't forget along the way of your day!

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And I do too! 



  1. Oh quite a few here:)
    I don't remember traditions as a child..except holiday get togethers w/ my mom's family and all the coats on the bed..etc..
    as a young mom..I did make traditions..and it's funny I do see my girls carrying on and making new ones:)
    Wonder what the boys will do?
    Hope they still have the stockings I needlepointed for them when they are 40:)

  2. Traditions are wonderful and quite a few have been passed on from grandparents to parents in my family too. Having a family to do things with makes such a difference, we are bless to have them as some have no on to share with. We are planning Thanksgiving here which is Thursday after next in our country. It'll be wonderful to get together.

  3. As a child, we didn't have a lot of traditions; but the ones we did have were ingrained into our lives by our Mom. When I raised my own girls, there were many traditions, especially at Xmas time. These are things that I've tried to bring back home with me to NL, but no one in my family is really into the tradition thing anymore. I miss them, and I get a little sad when I think that I won't see 2 of my daughters this Xmas. But my heart is lightened when I hear my middle daughter back in NS say how she's preparing for Xmas --- with many of the same traditions and foods that she grew up with. Carrying on the legacy!

  4. I hope they do also Monique. I predict that they will! It is so much fun and heartwarming to see traditions being passed down for sure. xoxo

    You are right Pam. I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving! xoxo

    Oh Sandy, I know how you feel. I miss all of my children dreadfully, especially at the holiday times! xoxo

  5. Oh my sweet friend, I loved reading every word of this post on Traditions, memories and etc. It brought many memories from my past and also from our own family traditions. I look forward to continuing to nuture traditions in our family. You are such a talented writer and your touched my heart today.
    I really like the photos too. I loved some of the sweet traditions you talked about and the memories.
    We have traditions for most of the holidays but Christmas is the best of them. We always dress up and have a wonderful family pageant. It’s different every year. With the younger Great Grandchildren it has to be a litle shorter. When raising our children they would each also preform a musical redition of song or playing an instrument. I have most of these on video and love to watch them now and then.
    Thanks again for bringing back sweet memories.
    Have a sweet weekend dear friend! Big hugs~

  6. It all sounds so wonderful LeAnn! Love you to pieces! xoxo


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