tradition: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way

tradition: candles, incense, the dark brought to light, He’s raised from the dead and I’m sitting in the pew, pastels and purity, Waffle House is not my god but at midnight on Easter it might be a close second

tradition: fruits the color of my brother’s hair, pine straw, hay rides, leaves crunching under my boots, apple pie, sitting in a wheelbarrow, laughter in the pits of our stomachs

tradition: the mashed potato bowl sits on the counter, smoke alarms have been deactivated and windows opened, silverware clinks and clatters onto the table, sprinting and rosy cheeks, restless toe tapping and leg kicking and hopeful glances until everyone has arrived

tradition: pine and cider and North Carolina air, Christmas trees galore as we point out the tallest and the greatest to place within our home, horses pass through and we laugh at their whinnying, coats cover arms and arms flail about

tradition: wrapping paper everywhere-- on the counter, on my bed, under the tree, evergreen and red, candy canes and cookies wait for me but I promised to finish this last present first, it’s late this Eve but not as late as it used to be, the Pope’s voice whispers on the TV, Steven Curtis Chapman hums through the stereo

tradition: a dull headache, a mess of hair, wrinkled pajamas, drooping eyes, even more wrapping paper, the yelling and excited squeals only add to the pain but it’s the kind of pain I am thankful for because the ones I love are here with me

tradition: something I can rely on, an event that will never fail me, a moment engrained in my soul