My Family Tradition | Teen Ink

My Family Tradition

January 9, 2008
By Anonymous

When I heard we had to write an essay about family traditions, I wasn’t sure what I should do. Should I tell the truth and reveal the fact that my family doesn’t have any traditions? {That would make for a very boring essay.} Should I make one up and BS my way through the entire thing? {You are a horrible liar, don’t even go there!} Should I steal someone else’s family tradition and call it my own? {Next, on “America’s Most Wanted”, a girl who has made a living off of stealing. Does she rob money, jewels or extra large televisions? Oh no, she takes family traditions from innocent civilians!} As you can probably tell, I was completely stuck. Until an intriguing thought popped into my head—why not just do all of the above? {You are so going to hell for this…}

Like I mentioned before, my family doesn’t have a special tradition. When I was assigned this essay, I went to my mother, hoping that we did have a tradition that I just overlooked! Needless to say, I was back at square one—she couldn’t think of any! I then began to look to my peers for help, which resulted in the usual, “Just say something obvious, like, ‘On the twenty-fifth day of December, my family opens presents that are left underneath an artificial tree by an obese man who has some strange obsession with red clothes and non-existent animals who can fly’!” That wasn’t much help either. I began to ponder why we didn’t have a tradition to call our own and came up with several logical reasons. One, my dad was in the Air Force while I was growing up, so we always seemed to move from place to place. I feel that many people that have family traditions were around their family most of the time, but since we were on the other side of the world, we couldn’t really spend time with our relatives. I hate saying it, but my immediate family and my extended family aren’t really amigos. There was some sort of ongoing fight with my dad’s side of the family, which eventually spread to my mom’s side. So my family really isn’t much of one. Maybe that could be part of the reason why we don’t have a tradition.

I remember one time in a magazine people had sent in letters talking about strange (holiday) family traditions that they had. The ones that got chosen to be proudly displayed to the entire nation really were quite strange. I can vaguely remember one involving pickles on Thanksgiving and playing pranks on an unaware sleeping grandmother during Christmas. I wondered if maybe I could create my own and go into elaborate detail about how we hang old movie tickets on our Christmas tree instead of ornaments or something extremely random like that, but the thought of lying about something as important as family traditions seemed like one of the seven deadly sins. Maybe it is! Maybe Moses came back with the Ten Commandments and one of them read, “Thou shall not lie about family traditions”. Probably not.

Stealing! People steal all the time, right? Jewelry, expensive clothes, electronics, packs of gum and maybe a family tradition every so often! I’ve never stolen before. Well, actually I think I did once when I was about seven years old, but I’m straying off the path here. One of my old friends, Jessica, had a hilarious family tradition. When somebody in their family turned sixteen, the parents (or whoever) would sneak into that person’s room while they were sleeping, pick them up, carry them outside, and throw them into the swimming pool. I remember how nervous my friend was—and she had a good reason to be—her birthday was in January! Lucky for her, the night before her sixteenth birthday was spent at a friend’s house and she was safe from the icy cold wake-up call. Part of me thought it would be a great idea to borrow her family tradition—it was funny, unique, and would make for a great essay—but eventually, my shoulder angel pushed the idea out of my head.

All of these ideas really didn’t seem to work. But in the end, I discovered that I had an essay! One talking about how I shouldn’t lie or steal family traditions. One talking about how not every family has a tradition. One showing the world that my family’s tradition, is being completely untraditional.

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