Traditions

Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays. You get to eat amazing food, watch football, visit with family and don’t have to worry about a gift exchange. But mainly, I love the holiday because it makes you realize the importance of traditions. Family traditions.

***
Growing up with divorced parents, I never really felt like I had a “tradition” – as one holiday was with my mom and the next was with dad. I never went to the same place. I didn’t sit in the same chair and play with the same kids. I didn’t eat the same food and I didn’t hug the same people. It was different. Every year.

***
Now that I am grown up, I realize that the rotation was my tradition. The change of scenery, food, and people was my tradition as a child. Which probably explains my ability to adapt to change well. I don’t hate change. I embrace it. I love doing new things, meeting new people, and eating different foods. It also taught me to be thankful for people you see once a year. Because odds are you won’t see them the next year. So hug them hard and long. More importantly, laugh every second you get.

I learned all of this through my tradition.

***
When I met Justin, his family was full of traditions. One in particular was eating oysters at Thanksgiving. Um, oysters? Last time I checked they looked like giant snot bubbles. No thank you.

“You aren’t going to get welcomed into the family unless you eat a raw oyster, Ashley,” I remember Justin saying. “We do it every year, and you don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t eat one.”

Oh no. I am toast. I’ve only been dating this boy for three months and he wants me to eat an oyster? And a raw one at that? I’m definitely out of the family. And I am hardly in yet.

“And really, you just open up your throat and let it slide back,” he said. “You don’t have to chew it.”

“Well, I won’t be chewing it or swallowing it,” I said. “Because I am not eating one of those giant boogers!”

Four years later, I am addicted to oysters. Eat them every single year at Thanksgiving. In fact, we even just bought some for my family’s Thanksgiving meal.

***
The best part about traditions is sharing them. So whether your tradition is eating raw oysters or changing places each year, I hope you embrace your traditions, even if you don’t realize they exist yet. You will one day.

Travel safely and love graciously.

Oh and, GO COWBOYS! =)

Much love,
Ashley

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