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  • Writer's pictureArwen Rasmussen

Keeping Old Traditions

I must admit that I enjoy traditions. Whether it be holiday traditions, family traditions, or religious traditions, I enjoy knowing that something I do has roots that go back many years. Unfortunately, the older I get, the more I see many of my favorite traditions replaced by contemporary practices.

Traditions help make me who I am and are a part of me. When I go to church, I always enjoy our traditional services. Knowing that the liturgy, familiar prayers, and hymns are the same as those used for generations gives me comfort and reassurance. I enjoy seeing the traditional vestments worn by our pastor and hearing her familiar words of the liturgy.

I am a great admirer of British history. I have read countless books about life in Great Britain and learned much about their many traditions. When the late Queen Elizabeth passed away, I was glued to my television, watching all the ceremonies during the ten-day mourning period. I watched in awe as I witnessed elaborate and precise traditions used for hundreds of years. The pageantry and beauty often brought tears to my eyes as I watched a country say goodbye to its queen.

One definition of tradition is handing down beliefs, legends, customs, and practices from generation to generation. However, as a generation ages and the matriarch and patriarch of families pass on, family traditions are often lost or forgotten. Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, and families will gather to celebrate this national holiday. But as I think back to Thanksgiving when I was first married, the day was a large gathering at my wife's home farm. Many relatives came for the day, and all enjoyed a huge feast. But fifty-two years later, our Thanksgiving Day is now a quiet day spent at home.

If one wants to see some great traditions, then college football is what you should watch. Whether it is the Wisconsin Badgers jump around or the dotting of the "i" by an Ohio State band member, college football has some great traditions. One of my favorites is seeing the Texas Longhorns running out onto the field led by Bevo, their live longhorn mascot. Most of these traditions have been happening for generations and are essential to college football. And every major university has a game tradition that means so much.

Being a traditionalist does not mean that I am not a realist. I realize and accept changes, although many are not to my liking. I cannot live in the past, but it does not mean that I cannot appreciate the traditions and customs that still can have meaning.

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