When my family immigrated to Canada many years ago, we were it. Just the five of us. No family or friends waiting to greet us at the dock. That very first Christmas my parents started a tradition.
Christmas dinner was scheduled for 1:00 in the afternoon. It’s been at that time ever since. At 1:00 Canadian time all glasses are raised to “absent loved ones”. 1:00 here is 6:00 on the other side of the Atlantic. My parents initially took great comfort in knowing that family and friends far away were thinking the same thoughts at the same time.
Today, our ever expanding family has resulted in several extensions in the dining table, but glasses are still raised. Sometimes it’s a formal toast, other times it’s more of a private reminder. Some of the younger members or new additions-in-law probably don’t know why 1:00 is such an important time goal. It just is.
Traditions. They are enduring. They are necessary. They are comforting.
What are your holiday traditions? I’d love to hear about them.