A Family Tradition

A Family Tradition

Family traditions- more than just the time you are forced to sit next to your sibling and behave.
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While Hank Williams Jr.’s song doesn’t necessarily depict any of my family’s traditions, it is a good way to open up with saying that even to the immensely famous, the habits of our family play a big role in shaping who we are as people. Recently, my family just concluded one of our yearly traditions and it has inspired me to reflect on just the impact my family and our traditions have had on who I am as a person. While you have your family to blame for a lot of the genetic aspects of what makes you you, if you’re lucky enough to have such an involved family like I had, you get to experience a molding of yourself totally different from that which is destined by nature. On the flip-side, if you had a rather un-involved family, that would also lead to its own unique way of creating the intricate characteristics of a person.

Speaking strictly from experience, I can pinpoint some of the major ways my family’s traditions have made me who I am. My grandfather has been a pastor for most of my life and this has had a major impact on the way that I view faith and religion. My favorite memory of my family revolving around religious traditions is that we are each given a pamphlet with part of the Christmas story on it, these pamphlets double as drawing card numbers for the present lottery that always follows, and we take turns reading our portion of the Christmas story. Even with the crazy rush of the season and the ever growing inclination to commercialize a holiday, my family has made sure to remember that Christ comes first.

My family also takes an annual vacation to the beach in which we cram in one big hotel condo (my family is huge) and enjoy each other’s company for a week. While the grandchildren have gotten older and school activities seem to migrate into summer’s territory, the attendance of everyone on these trips has begun to vary year to year, but nevertheless, the trip is booked and those that can make it do. This has instilled in me how important family time is, and that even if you can’t check up on each other daily or regularly, being with your family is something you should take seriously. They are people you should get to know and rely on and love unconditionally.

My family talks about current events, almost every time we eat together, and sometimes we get so intensely devoted to sharing our opinions I wish we didn’t talk about them at all. This has taught me that it is important to pay attention to the world around me. It is important to have uncomfortable conversations and to learn how to listen to and respect the viewpoints of others, because ignorance is not always bliss and not knowing is not always safer than knowing.

While these things just barely scrape the surface of the many ways my family and their traditions have made me who I am, they are instances that I cherish. They are things I’ll remember thirty years from now and that I’ll tell my children about with the biggest smile on my face. Some of these are things I hope to continue on into the future creation of my own family. While not all family habits are positive, they help build the mold for who we become as people. There are several negative aspects of my family that I hope to learn from and not see duplicated in my adult life.

The fact of the matter is that you should be thankful for your family and the person they helped make. Take time today to reflect on your family and to be thankful that you have them to draw from. Does your family take the same portrait every year? Do they have a BBQ cook-off? Do you all take a camping trip or go for a hike? What are some of the traditions that your family has or had and how you think they’ve played a role in molding you into who you are today?

Cover Image Credit: http://blog.togethercounts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/shutterstock_16975156.jpg

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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House Hunting At Its Finest

It's incredibly stressful and takes way too long!

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House hunting is hard. I thought at first it would be fun, exciting, and interesting. But now, I'm tired and bored and just want to give up.

I've been looking for a house for a month now and I knew it going in to it, it would take a while. I knew that I wouldn't just walk into the first house and be like, "this is it, this is the one".

But, when you look at 6-10 houses every time you search a day, it gets stressful and tiring.

When I started looking at houses it was because I was planning on getting a house with some friends to rent out for the next 3 years while at UCF. All because I didn't get a spot-on campus with the lottery, I got waitlisted. So, I need to look for housing to secure a place to live next fall.

Now, my dad wants to turn it into a small business. Buy a house, rent out the rooms for a reasonable price, cheaper than some apartments, and make a profit.

It sounds like a good plan.

But then you have to factor in: location and how far it is from campus, the price range in which you could make a profit, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the price per square inch, the property taxes, if the house needs work or not, upgrades, improvement, parking availability, etc. The list just goes on and on.

It's hard to find the "perfect" house.

I want to be able to make it "home" for the next 3 years. I want to make it somewhere where I can hang out, have friends over, and love to live in.

Every time I walk into a new house, I automatically think, "what would I do to this room? Or that?". I think of furniture and décor. I think about how I would design it and make it ours.

I even made a Pinterest board, one for home décor and one for bedrooms.

I feel like I'm going overboard but I can't help it.

I get excited when it comes to the designing aspect, but my parents have to be so nit-picky. They came up over the weekend to search for houses with me and every time we walk into a house I hear: "the carpet is stained, needs to be removed", "the kitchen is outdated, needs to be upgraded", "the bathroom needs work", "the wall has a hole", "not enough bathrooms" and so much more.

It's not like I don't chime in with comments either.

I do put in a fair share of my personal opinions about the quality of the houses too.

But, at this point I wish we could just settle on something. Again, I know this takes time but I just get anxious.

So, we are going into the 5thweek and still haven't agreed on a house. My mom has her picks, my dad has his, and I have mine. And none of them overlap. Frankly, I don't get a "say" in what my parents chose since they will be purchasing the house. But, I get to live in it, my friends are the ones who will be paying them rent. So, I feel like my opinion matters. Whenever I ask questions or give input, they talk over me.

As if, I wasn't even there!

Yet, that is how the ball rolled. Wow, I'm borderline whining over here. It's not like I'm not grateful but, I wish I was valued as an adult helping in this situation.

Well thank you for coming to my "TED" talk! And reading about yet another annoying and trivial struggle of mine. I'll write again soon.

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