I don't know if you have any celebratory family traditions that you continue. Perhaps even one as common as Christmas. When you think about it, these traditions tend to morph into something that is a mixture of the initial purpose and the tradition's purpose. For example, Christmas as a Christian celebration, and Christmas as a tradition - a time about getting together with relatives and whatever little traditions you've included year after year.
Well, the Mr has something like that. It's totally religious, it's a saint's day. A saint is bestowed upon every family and every year the family 'celebrates', or honours, that saint. Much like Christmas, it's centred around food and family and close friends. But also, the local priest comes round to your home, blesses it, blesses the special bread you've made and the people of the household.
Basically, there is LOT of incense and things said in latin, or some ancient unintelligible language or other.
The Mr and I aren't religious. I'm very spiritual but he's actually atheist. Not only that, we've never been fans of middle-management, as a friend worded it last night. You know, priests and such. And we don't believe in saints. Hmmm... sounds like a huge obstacle, considering it's a saint's day.
But here's the thing. As the latter type of tradition - a family thing - the Mr wanted to retain it. I wanted to give our Wildflower the chance to be part of it. Actually, it was me who suggested having the celebration! There is something magical and about traditions and rituals passed down through generations - one type of ancestral connection.
So how do we work this?
We decided that we would keep a few rituals, such as the special bread and the lighting of the candle. But we don't need anything blessed, thanks.
I know purists would not consider what we celebrated yesterday as the true celebration, but fortunately, we don't do this for others. To us, it's very important and special, especially when we have moved away and are not with the rest of the family. This day honours our family - the Wildflower's heritage from dad's side. When the Mr lights the candle, he does so as his father still does, as his grandfather once did, and so and so on.
I think it a wonderfully organic way to connect your children to their heritage. Especially if the parents are a mixed bunch.
Yesterday, in our own awkward-this-is-our-first-time-taking-this-on sort of way...... we connected. I'm not certain if the Mr's lack of religion/belief made it what I thought it could be. But hey, perhaps it needs more time.