As I prepare for my Thanksgiving celebration next week, I recall Thanksgivings of years past, when I was a child. I remember gathering at my grandparents’ home with approximately fifteen cousins, nine aunts and uncles, and of course my own parents and grandparents. As soon as we entered the home, we were greeted with hugs, kisses, and the aromas of the feast that awaited us! We played games, had many conversations, ate, watched football, put the leftovers away, and two hours later brought them all out again for a second feast! These traditions continued each Thanksgiving and are included in my family traditions, connecting my children to their past.
During these first few months of school, we at Academy of the Holy Names have celebrated many traditions. Traditions will continue next week as we celebrate our annual Thanksgiving song contest in the high school and the Thanksgiving feast in the Middle School. Traditions are an integral part of our school. They connect the students to one another, to the alumnae, and to the students yet to join our Holy Names family.
In the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, the curtain rises to disclose a fiddler precariously perched upon a rooftop, playing his tune. The lead character, Tevye, breaks into the opening song, “Tradition.” Tevye is the head of a household of women – three daughters and one wife – in the small town of Anatevka. For the subsequent two hours, the audience is immersed into the life of this family. As with any family, there are moments in which life is wonderful and then there are those other moments when it appears as if everything is falling apart. Through their trials and tribulations, there is the support of family and the trust in traditions that unite them.