My Ostereierbaum. Spring is here....with one of my most loved traditions.
I fell in love with this German tradition, 27 years ago, when I was serving as a young 21 year old missionary, there. The addition of branches just beginning to blossom, colorful flowers, and beautifully hand painted eggs was a much welcomed scene after a dreary, cold, German winter.
When Clay and I returned to Germany, for one of our first military assignments, I was thrilled to begin my own collection. Most have survived our 22 years of moves and little fingers...a few lovingly pieced back together.
Traditions are behaviors and actions that you do again and again – regular rituals that you perform at the same time and/or in the same way. Traditions can be big or small, but they differ from routines and habits because they are done with a specific purpose in mind and require thought and being intentional. I've heard it explained this way as well. "any activity you purposefully repeat together, as a family, that adds something extra that lifts it above the ordinary ruts.”
Traditions, when done right, can lend a certain magic, spirit, and texture to our everyday lives.
Family traditions and rituals are the antidote to the hurried feeling that comes from our fast-paced and constantly changing world. It’s comforting to have a few constants in life.
Before a special holiday has even arrived, my girls are asking if we will be putting up a specific decoration, or doing a specific activity. They know that every Easter, we will put up our Ostereierbaum (Easter Tree) and that they will probably hear (more than usual) stories from when mom and dad were missionaries in Germany. They know that every St. Patrick's Day, the leprechauns will come and make a mess in the house and leave green donuts. They know that on the last day of school, to celebrate the beginning of summer, the outside of the house will be decorated with brightly colored banners. Birthday's means the special birthday balloon wreath will hang on the front door for all to see.
These are constants in their lives. They expect them, look forward to them, and without using these exact words, are comforting for them. It's normal....so very needed...especially in this last year.
Organization is essential for traditions. Very rarely, can I make one happen "the night before." Don't get me wrong....the leprechauns have visited at 3 or 4 in the morning, but when I remembered what day it was, and jumped out of bed, I knew exactly where to find the shamrocks they leave behind. However, for the most part, an organized storage room with a Spring/Easter bin, 4th of July bin, Birthday bin, etc. makes planning for and making these family traditions almost stress free.
If you find yourself stressing over family traditions, wanting to implement them or improve upon the ones you have, but don't know how to plan for or organize what you have so that it is easier, lets chat. I can teach you techniques and systems to make these important, family moments, times to look forward to and full of lasting memories.