Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Passion Post: Tradition, Tradition!

"We do not remember days, we remember moments." - Cesare Pavese

As far as holidays go, I think Thanksgiving is pretty special for two reasons. One, it’s about giving not getting and gratitude doesn’t take up any space. Two, it’s about stuffing, not stuff. But seriously folks…

Here’s the best part: tradition! Traditions passed down through the years are what we remember about the holidays. We don’t always remember the gifts we receive or the disappointments of the day but we remember the rituals. Those are the moments that live in the heart; those are the moments that define family and each of its members. And traditions don’t cost a thing. Traditions can be started in a moments notice, whether planned or by happenstance. And these are what we pass down generation after generation.

There’s an age old tradition wherein the dinner host carves the turkey with everyone looking on in excited anticipation, chatting and giggling amongst themselves, their heads leaning in ever so slightly over the perfectly set table-oh wait, that’s this:

Norman Rockwell painting

Here’s our heartwarming version, which could more accurately be described as Joe, Jr. and Joe III goofing off with giant knives:


Many, many, many years ago the tradition of giving a baby the drumstick on their first Thanksgiving began. Not to eat, just for a silly picture, of course! The first existing photo of this ritual shows my brother Joe sitting on my Aunt Bernie’s lap. She has an enormous smile on her face so one could only assume that it all began with that smile (aunts are the best!). And so it is, each year that reveals the blessing of a child, we all gather round to watch a little babe’s bewilderment and confusion all the while snapping pictures and laughing. In years to come, each of these babies delight in seeing their photo and hearing the story of their initiation into our nutcracker family. It’s a story told over and over again, growing old but never wearing thin. That’s tradition!

Here Joe IV chomps on the drumstick and Joe III with Aunt Bernie and the smile that started it all: 

I’m sharing these moments from my family and wishing your family a season full of the moments that last a lifetime. You needn’t spend a dime; you needn’t fill your house with presents. Simply hold those closest close and treasure those that are yours and take lots of pictures so you can laugh at and mock each other in years to come.

 Happy Holidays 2017

What makes your family tick? We’d love to hear about your family’s crazy, mysterious and heartwarming traditions!


  1. My favorite holiday tradition we started about 25 years ago. Each family member has a Christmas book.(blank journal) we go always go to church on Christmas Eve and bring our books. Each family member writes in each book as we wait for mass to begin. Once everyone writes in them for that year they are placed in our Christmas stocking. It is my favorite thing to open up each year and reading the special messages from my family reflecting on everything that happened in the past year.