While my oldest children were young, I used to listen to Focus on the Family every afternoon on the radio.  On there, I heard that a study had shown that all of the best families had one thing in common - camping.  Camping!  I loved my children, and I wanted to be one of the "best" families, but if camping was the answer, we would have to settle for second best.
  Later, however, I heard somewhere that the key to family solidarity is traditions.  Now the light bulb went on.  My husband is a very strong family man.  It was one of the most important things that attracted me to him in the first place.
  When we started dating, I was ushered into something unfamiliar to me.  His family got together constantly! And traditions, oh my!  His family reeked of tradition.  In fact, I used to poke fun of  him by singing the song Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof.
  Looking back over my past, I remember a lot of our traditions were connected with church:  choir, lighting the candles, Catherman's candy for Easter and Christmas (I still think they make the best chocolate in the world!), Christmas programs, and my favorite, the flannelgraph.
  Beyond that, we always came home from church and watched Davey and Goliath  and Sea Hunt  while my mom made Sunday dinner.  And Sunday evenings were always Walt Disney and ice cream or a trip to my grandmother's home, where I had cousins my age with which to play.
  My family had other traditions, too.  We went roller skating, trick or treating, and to the annual Easter egg hunt at a local VFW with my cousins. Most importantly, my father was always waiting at the bus stop to pick us up after school.  It was just a short walk, but our parents always pampered us. 
 Christmas was filled with music and we ate chestnuts.  But Christmas also meant the biggest marital fight of
the year (Christmas Eve was my parents' anniversary), and when I was an adolescent, my parents split.  Not only did our family "die", but so did our traditions.  Sunday was just another day, and I came home to an empty house, or hung out at a friend's house, where her mother was at home.  Without family there are no traditions. And without traditions, there is no family.


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