I love to celebrate holidays, especially ones that have meaning for the people I’m with. Different traditions, however, can take awhile to comfortably mingle.

Take, for instance, When To Decorate. With Chanukah, it’s easy — you take out the menorah on the first night of the eight days. But Christmas? It was Roy’s family tradition to put things up the day after Thanksgiving. I like to squeeze the juice out of each holiday individually, and to me, the day after Thanksgiving is still part of Thanksgiving, and therefore too early to start with Christmas. Especially since the stores are beginning to decorate for Christmas now the day after Halloween.

But it’s hard to argue about family traditions because it’s not about rationality or “rightness”. It’s about “what’s always been” and what’s familiar and comforting. So starts the compromising…”Well, what about the Monday after Thanksgiving? Is that OK?” It begins by accepting the feeling of strangeness, but evolves into the beginnings of your own traditions. And every time the family grows or changes, the traditions develop with it.

I believe that our personal traditions help us hold onto the best of our memories. The traditions of our significant others do the same for them. Together we learn that it’s really all about the same reverence for the power of love and being the best people we can be.

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