One of the stories in our family that has achieved legendary status is when our hairdresser asked a then 12 year old Danelle (during the Christmas season) if our family has any traditions. Danelle replied "not really.....", to which I nearly passed out. It has been one of my main missions as a momma to carefully build and craft traditions for every major holiday and nearly every minor one as well. My girls always know what to look forward to and there is often tumultuous consequences for messing with our traditions. But Danelle wasn't finished with her sentence. She continued, ".....we just do the SAME things over and over again, EVERY year." And then we (Miranda, Carla and I) busted up laughing while Danelle sat there bewildered and a bit confused.
So now we tease about how we don't have traditions in our family. We just do the same things OVER and OVER again! One of these SAME things is to host St. Patrick's Day dinner in our home. It is Miranda's favorite holiday and today I think Kamiryn was spot on when she explained to me why it is one of her very favorites as well. Other than the meal and spending time together, there aren't any other expectations. There is not a big "season" leading up to this day. There are no gifts to buy, special outfits to coordinate or plan, the meal is not complicated and does not require a lot of people to help prepare it. My dad purchased the corned beef for today, but Kamiryn and I prepared all of the food ourselves. Our menu is fairly simple and almost always the same.
*Cabbage, potatoes & carrots
*Green jello jigglers
*Pistachio pudding "salad"
Our celebrations are always full of laughter and poking good natured fun at ourselves and each other. (Like explaining how the solar system works to one educated and very smart adult that just wasn't getting it! HILARIOUS!!!) We miss and pray for those that are not with us. We usually hang out together afterward for a while talking, visiting, watching funny things on someone's phone, and if I have it my way, we play a game or two. Tonight we played Apples to Apples and laughed, joked, told stories and visited with the missionaries when they stopped by for a bit. I love these opportunities to REpeat the same things
over and over again. They build bonds,
strengthen relationships and forge lasting
connections. It is a chance to display our
priorities to the next generation and show them what we as adults are willing to sacrifice, rearrange and give up to make these events happen. Even if they seem boring, tedious or insignificant to tweens or teens that don't quite understand the value of each repeat performance....yet. According to Gretchen Rubin, science has proven that one of the single most significant things that we can do to increase our happiness is to strengthen our connections and build our relationships. This is where we make it happen. And it is completely worth the sacrifice of anything else I could be doing on a Saturday afternoon and evening.
It does indeed bring me JOY.