Tradition. Oh, you know: Christmas trees, Thanksgiving turkey, Mother’s Day brunch, fall pumpkin carving, birthday cakes, Sunday pancakes …This could take all day. I’m a sucker for a good tradition. I just love the sense of continuity and cohesion behind it. The sense that tradition can withstand time, from generation to generation, and that we, as participants, can watch it grow and evolve. Second, the power that tradition holds to bring families together, the sense of harmony that it affords. The customs, beliefs and practices that we share with our loved ones are oftentimes derived from what has been passed down to us, or from what we established on our own. In a world that is constantly shifting and changing, tradition in its essence offers us a sense of stability. Even when our surroundings change, we can rely on traditions to remain just as we left them. They offer us a glimpse into the past, to where we have come from, along with providing a hint of what is yet to come.

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I just had a deliciously sweet weekend chock full of tradition. No, I am not just referring to the overabundance of cheesecake, cookies and cannolis at Aunt Renee’s annual Christmas party. I am referring to the Christmas-tree-shopping-and-decorating goodness that comes with the holiday season. This year marked the second year that Brian and I hunted for a Christmas tree; in other words, a continuation of our own tradition. We arrived at a small lot, a wide variety of live trees displayed under globe lights strung overhead. After we found “the one” and drove it home, Brian carried the tree inside while I crazily followed him around like an irritating Paparazzi member, recording videos and snapping photographs to engrain this year into our photographic memories. After the tree was set in its stand, lingering pine needles vacuumed, we admired ornaments collected over many years of Christmases and strung them over the tips of the seven-foot Douglass Fir. Grandma assisted in wrapping white lights around the perimeter. We strapped a makeshift Santa hat and beard combination around the head of their not-so-pleased white boxer, Cody. We decorated to Christmas music, the Yule log burning in the background. Over dinner, we discussed how this was our second year picking and decorating, and we daydreamed about continuing the tradition … someday with children of our own.
 
Okay, so this was only year two for us. But tradition is tradition, whether it has been established for centuries, or decades or years … or even when it has just begun. The important part? Establishing a custom or practice which gives you that sweet, feel-good spirit inside; a custom that makes you look forward to continuing it into the future, watching the tradition grow and evolve, with more memories and with more love.
 
Here are some of my favorite shots from my tradition filled weekend:
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Are traditions important to you? What traditions do you maintain? Have you started ones of your own?

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