Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Respect for Tradition

In many ways I'm not very traditional. I roll my eyes at lots of things. However, I'm learning, as a parent, that some traditions are much more about how good they make the grown ups feel than how much the kids enjoy them. I was thinking about this because this week we began the tradition of putting our shoes out for St. Nicholas.

The tradition that I know is that there should be small treats left in the shoes of children. We put our shoes out on the evening of Dec. 5. The next morning I asked him if he thought anything was in the shoes. Sam was delighted to receive a small train, a Christmas book, and a few treats we had hanging around the kitchen. We also received an advent calendar. It's the kind with little chocolates. (So just like a Pavlovian dog, if we say advent calendar, he now expects a little chocolate. hmmm!)

I'm still enjoying how good this all makes me feel several days later. I love how much he wants to carry around the train cars, and it was a used freebie. I love that he doesn't get it, but he enjoys it anyway. (Wish I was more like that.)

I think part of why traditions continue and deserve respect is the reward we reap from carrying on with them. We pass them on for what we know the giver will receive, and that is worthy of some respect.

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