Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Rituals

A few weeks ago, James took this image of the annual Christmas fair in Trier, Germany, a town which has been in existence since 16 B.C.E. As he walked the cobblestone streets with hot mulled cider, he envisioned the many generations who have attended this Christmas market in the medieval town square.
I've always postulated that we spend much of our adulthood trying to recapture or redo our childhood. And there is no time of year where this is more evident than in our holiday preparations. Rituals become all the more meaningful as we attempt to bake Aunt Conchetta's cookies or hang the ornaments we've accumulated over the years. For children, these rituals offer a connection to their family history. To my delight, instead of eschewing the annual family parties, my children look forward to the continuum they offer from one year to the next, from one generation to another. They hear the same stories, watch the same movies, and enjoy the same music, thriving in the stable predictability of the season.

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