My wife, Karen Mangum, joins our conversation to talk to us about the traditions that her and her family had during the end of the year celebrations. Karen talks about how at Thanksgiving, there would be up to 30 people at her grandparent’s house. Even with those numbers, Karen remembers that the house would be quiet enough for meaningful conversations among family members.
Some of Karen’s other memories were of the family getting together to play football with her uncles and then watching the Thanksgiving parade followed by the Twilight Zone marathon on their local TV channel. While living in Los Angeles didn’t afford many of the other natural indicators of the holiday season starting, Karen remembers how her mother and grandmother would start pulling out their pie pans to make their famous pies. One of the fun traditions that Karen’s family had was that when the children turned thirteen, they would move to the “grown-up” or “la-de-da” table.
Karen tells a fun story about what the Christmas season was like growing up in Los Angeles and how if the family wanted to have a makeshift snowman, they would need to go out and capture tumbleweeds, tie them together, and then paint them white. Karen’s memories around their family’s traditions at Christmas also revolved around having family around and just sharing space and conversations. That is not to say, that there were not some great activities that included grandpa reading stories and leading the family in prayers around the big family meal on Christmas Eve.
As we wrap up our conversation, Karen stresses that the traditions and rituals helped to bond the family members together. The members of the family that lived far away felt connected to the whole family because of a few repeated activities that were just part of what the family did and part of what all the family members participated in.
After you have listened to this conversation, please share it with three friends or family members that would enjoy hearing how rituals and traditions can be used to build family bonds that last a life time.
You can click on this link to hear a past conversation about how important traditions are in helping to build strong family connections: https://cool-grandpa.us/2022/01/ep-66-grandparents-and-meaningful-traditions/
This is another one-on-one conversation about Traditions and Rituals: https://cool-grandpa.us/2021/10/ep-56-traditions-and-rituals/