When we think of traditions, we generally think of occasions or events that we continue from generation to generation. You may or may not realize that a tradition could be statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information from generation to generation, by word of mouth or by practice.

My mind immediately envisions wedding dresses that are handed down, family quilts, china, and cedar chests or trunks filled with nostalgia from days gone by.

One of the most heartwarming and stomach satisfying tradition in my family is the making of homemade spaghetti sauce and gnocchi which we as a family eat mostly as an appetizer on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I make spaghetti sauce throughout the year and it is the family recipe that I believe has been around for generations. When my grandmother was visiting this past January (she just turned 98 September 25th and is as independent and self-sufficient as if she just turned 50!) one of my favorite memories that I captured via photo was my grandmother teaching my youngest son the hidden secret recipe of making spaghetti sauce. Like with most recipes handed down, each batch tastes different. The same ingredients can be added; however, everyone’s sauce tastes different.

A tradition that I started with my boys when they were very young was to tell them every day and sometimes several times a day “Guess What?”. They would look at me with their innocent inquisitive eyes and ask “What?”. “I love you and I am proud of you” I would loving respond. To this day, my boys are in their twenties and whenever I say “Guess What?”, they smile and reply “Yes, mom, I know you love me and you’re proud of me!” This is one tradition that I hope they pass down to their children and so on, and so on.