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Sacred Tradition This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   "Guys,it's almost time!" I heard my mom yell from the living room.

Every year we decorate our Christmas tree on the same day, the first Saturdayafter Thanksgiving, in the same way, and in the same spot. We have been doingthis for as long as I can remember. It is a tradition held sacred in our family.

When the clock chimes at 6:30, my family is herded, like sheep, into thefamily room where the Christmas tree is waiting. My brother, sister, mom and Iwait in the family room for my dad, who, no matter how much he tries to prepare,is always late. He always thinks he will be able to capture the moment, or, as mymom says, stop the kids from growing up, by videotaping this tradition of usdecorating our tree.

Did I mention that this tradition is held sacred inmy family? I don't think I can stress that enough. Five years ago, my dad had togo to Boston over that sacred Saturday. I don't remember much about that year,but I do remember my mom being very sad decorating the tree. In fact, halfwaythrough we stopped because, as she said, "It just doesn't seem right."We waited until my dad got home the following week to finish.

I don'tknow where this tradition came from. None of my relatives do it. My mom had noidea either. When I asked my dad, his reply was, "I don't know! I think itcame from your mom's side."

I think my dad knows that we don't havemany Christmases left together. He has started to take more care videotaping usas we put on the ornaments. I think I even noticed a tear on my mom's cheek thisyear when my brother put on the last ornament. She quickly wiped it away when mysister pointed it out. "Woo, it's a bit stuffy in here," she said. Itwasn't stuffy.

What will my parents do when all the kids have"flown the coop" and it is just them? No one can say for sure, but Ican guarantee it won't be the same.

Nearly every family has some typeof tradition. It may be going on vacation or always having chili corn dogs withhot sauce while the Packers play. My family's tradition may sound weird to thoseoutside my family, but, to me, it is normal.

It will be a very sad dayin the Casper household when we can't all come together to decorate the tree.When all the kids leave, I don't think my parents will celebrate Christmas in thesame way. I am sure that they will still celebrate, but I don't think they willget a tree and buy presents. Whatever happens after the kids leave home, we willstill have our memories, which, after all, is what really matters.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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