30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 23 – Traditions

Day 23: Traditions

Freedom from Want*

Holidays are steeped in tradition, perhaps more so than any other thing we share as a culture. We have national traditions, local traditions, family traditions and personal traditions.

When I was growing up, no matter where we lived, we always tried our best to make our way home to the Leander area to share a Thanksgiving meal with the extended family at my grandparents’ home. The food was the same every year – the tastes that became a focal point of our family traditions. Two things that always took place were domino games and football (UT vs A&M, of course).

Over the years, as generations have passed and others are being raised up behind them, some of those traditions have changed. But no matter where I find myself, one of my personal traditions (stemming from my childhood), is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv while I prepare for whatever else the day holds. This year is no exception.

Today I am thankful that no matter where we are, and no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, we can still carry on even the smallest of personal traditions – those things that connect us to each other and to generations past. They remind us that we are a part of a larger family, of something bigger than just what we see in front of us.

One of my favorite moments at our family gatherings when I was growing up (I still cherish it on the rare occasions we still get together), was the family prayer over the meal. Everyone would gather in the kitchen and dining room, the house would grow quiet, and one of our men would begin to pray. My dad or one of my uncles or cousins would offer thanks for all the many blessings we all enjoy, for our freedom and family, and then ask the Lord’s blessing over our meal and our time together. This moment always reminded me that I have a rich heritage of godly men and women – of patriots – of good people with good hearts, solid work ethics, generosity and humility. For this I will always be most thankful.

* Image: Freedom from Want, from the Freedom Collection by Norman Rockwell

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