Favorite family traditions

Ignacio Community Library, ICL Logo, ICL art
Photo Credit: Ignacio Community Library

My daughter and grandson were visiting recently, and we got to talking about favorite family traditions. As a child I loved going to the candlelight service at our church; trying to keep the candle from blowing out as long as I could. When our children were young, we started the tradition of giving pajamas and a book as a gift they could open on Christmas Eve. They always knew what they were getting, and yet it was always a surprise. A dear friend of our family said she continued to do this with her daughter as well.  We have a tradition of lasagna on Christmas Eve, although no one knows how that got started. Families share recipes, activities, and memories through their traditions.    

Traditions help bind us together, creating connections between generations, marking special times and moments. Websters dictionary’s first definition talks about tradition as an inherited or established pattern of thought, action, or behavior.  And while that is of course correct, I prefer the next one; the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth, from one generation to another with the conclusion that traditions do, in fact result in cultural continuity.  

I know that at the library, as we work on the Ignacio Voices project, we are hearing stories that tell of beginnings, of a shared history, that helps us understand what came before, and how events have shaped today’s community.  

KSUT’s program Native Braids is another opportunity to marry technology with oral history to help provide that cultural continuity.  

The stories that are held within the library are also a piece of holding space for recording and passing on our traditions, our beliefs and our history. At ICL we have a dedicated Native American collection and a Southwest collection in addition to the regular collection. I believe we can use these stories to learn the meaning behind others’ traditions as well as learning from and about those who came before us. Drop in sometime and have a look, you might be surprised at what you find here. 

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