Having grown up with a household full of Native American traditions, I have always understood the importance and connection that traditions bring. Many of the traditions we practice are sacred rituals and ceremonies passed down from our great grandmothers and great grandfathers. In practicing these traditions, I feel a great sense of connection to my past and to my present. I remember at powwows as a young child and wondering why things were done a certain way, I could ask any nearby Elder and they would have the answer. There is no guidebook or manual, these traditions are passed on through experience and story.
Having grown up this way, it was so important for me to continue both cultural and family traditions with my own family. We practice many cultural traditions and over the years have created some of our very own family traditions. One of my favorite traditions that we’ve established since moving to Texas is a polar plunge into the pool (freezing cold pool) every Christmas Eve. Believe it or not, this was my Mother’s idea. She’s fun! Everyone participates whether they want to or not and the memories and the laughter that jumping into the pool brings are unforgettable. It is my oldest daughter that persists that this tradition cannot be skipped even though some of us try to get out of it every year. I love that she is so passionate about carrying on a tradition.
This time of the year brings many traditions back to life for all of us. From Christmas trees, elves on the shelves, baking cookies, pickles on trees, and so many more. Holiday traditions foster a sense of comfort, belonging, and love. It is especially important to help those in need that might miss out on the presents, food, and basic traditions that many of us enjoy. Paying forward a sense of joy and love to others in some way is a great tradition to start with your family this year!!!