We have a ridiculous amount of family traditions. My niece actually wrote a paper about the traditions that attend our Thanksgiving festivities alone. It may have been a paper for her abnormal psychology class. That would make a lot of sense now that I think about it.
One of our traditions is making “spudnuts” for Halloween. My mother and grandmother would make hundreds of them for trick-or-treaters when I was growing up. We lived in a charming, little town in southeastern Idaho and people weren’t so scared of each other back then (recipe found at the bottom of this post… make them…).
When I adopted the tradition into my own family, I knew if I were to pass out the home fried delectables I would have to put a large trash bin in front of the house and risk being investigated by the police as the scary woman who tries to poison your children. We’ve given them to friends and family for the past 18 years.
This Halloween day, all my children who live nearby have taken the time off work to be here for Halloween. We will make Grandma Butler’s traditional recipe. We’ll read The Cask Of Amantillado and The Raven, we will carve pumpkins, listen to The Allen Parson’s Project – Tales Of Mystery & Imagination and we will watch Hocus Pocus. That last one is new as far as I’m concerned. My kids may see it differently.
Our Halloween traditions may seem a bit extreme, what with the pastry making assisted by Edgar Allen Poe and specific musical accompaniment, but that’s just the tip of The Young Family Bed & Breakfast & Zombie Apocalypse Retreat traditions iceberg.
Not only are our holidays tradition-fests (And don’t be thinking our traditions are all traditional. Note the “Hooch” dance accompanying Thanksgiving clean-up.), but our everyday lives are built on a framework of traditions and ways of living that help define us as a family.
I like to think these happy, life habits are not burdens to my family. In fact, I fully expect many of them will be abandoned as my children raise their own delightful clans. What we gain from them now is a sense of solidarity and belonging even when we are apart from one another. We feel connected though thousands of miles may separate us.
We’ve built our family on love, a gospel foundation, acceptance, kindness and traditions. We have an imperfect family. Each of us has our hang ups and quirks. But we love each other, we trust each other and we respect and support one another.
Plus we get to eat lots of doughnuts, make stupid jokes, dance around the kitchen and tease each other about our idiosyncrasies. Those are traditions you can sink your teeth into.
Happy Halloween, my friends.