Superstitions & Traditions

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Superstitions!  Whether my parents really believed in the superstitions they passed down to us or not, I’ll never know. But what I DO know is that they still stick with me today – more than sixty years later.

To this day I can still hear my Mom saying: “Nancy, if you put your shoes on the table they will pinch your feet.”  So, the other day, after returning from DSW Shoe Warehouse, my husband didn’t understand my yelp as he placed that box of shoes on our dining room table.  Yes, some superstitions from my childhood still follow me today even though I am well aware they can’t possibly be true.

Along with that comes the traditions I grew up with.  You see, I am 100% Polish and was raised in a VERY ethnic neighborhood.  Polish customs were part of my everyday life, especially at this time of year.  One of the traditions I remember very clearly is the oplatek.  It’s a Christmas wafer with a religious scene imprinted on it.  Every Christmas Eve we would sit at the table, break off a small piece, hand it to the person next to us and offer them health, good luck and great fortune for the upcoming year.  It was a sweet gesture filled with smiles and friendship and love. 

Do you have any customs that have been passed down from generation to generation?  Are you creating new ones of your own?  What do you hope your family and friends will remember in the years to come?  Now that I’ve asked you those questions, I need to take a look at my own holiday celebrations.  What can I create so that sixty years from now my friends and family will remember me – just like I remember my family sharing the oplatek.  Thanks Mom and Dad.

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Remembering Traditions My Way

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

I am not a creature of habit, I never have been.  However, as the Easter holiday approaches I am reminded of the traditions I grew up with – traditions that I have never forgotten.  And they still bring a smile to my face more than 50 years later. 

Growing up, my family didn’t celebrate Easter in the typical way.  I don’t remember any baskets filled with candy, nor were there any Easter egg hunts.  Instead, my mom would fill a huge wicker basket with all the food she was going to prepare for our holiday dinner.  Our basket was overflowing with a huge ham leg, a loaf of bread with a cross baked into the crust, a cake in the shape of a lamb, a jar of horseradish, and I’m sure a few other items I’ve forgotten.

My brother and I would lug this heavy basket to the church parking lot and wait for the priest to come out and bless it, then haul it all the way back home. 

At seven years old, I never really understood the meaning behind all this, but now I realize that it created a bond between my brother and me that lives on today, and it has left me with so many special memories that will last a lifetime.

Hmmm, now I’m wondering if my brother has the same memory of those Easter holidays.  I wonder if he gets the same warm feeling when Easter comes around.  Maybe he doesn’t even remember them at all.  I’ll have to ask him the next time I see him.  OR maybe not. Maybe this is something I’ll keep to myself with my own images and my own emotions.  I don’t want to ruin this happy memory.  This one is just for me.

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