Is there a cost to abandoning our American traditions? Think about the traditions that we have been asked to set aside because they might be coronavirus super spreader events. I’m thinking of events like the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, a traditional outdoor event. (The event has since been reinstated due to the backlash from military families over the cancellation announcement).
What about Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday which can be held outdoors in parts of the United States?
Did you celebrate Easter as usual in 2020? Probably not.
What’s next, Christmas?
Again, I ask, is there a cost to foregoing these annual celebrations? What might that cost be?
I submit to you that if we give up traditions, we might lose them permanently. You forego the preparations for one holiday, then the next one, then the next. After awhile, you decide that these celebrations are expensive, a lot of work, and that you don’t miss that one relative at the family table who always causes a stir.
Traditions require preparations.
Preparations inspire anticipation.
Anticipation generates excitement.
When you lose excitement, you lose interest.
When you lose interest, traditions die.
It becomes easier to let traditions go when you cooperate willingly. Indifference can become contagious. The kids are watching how you handle the pandemic restrictions placed on you and your family. They learn that the work isn’t worth the effort. Think I’m wrong? There was a time in this country when we used to dress up at least once per week. Americans traded in their “Sunday clothes” for a uniform of tee shirts and jeans. Now, you need a Cinderella ball or a wedding to dress up. Come to think of it, Cinderella has been cancelled, too. We have no reason to dress up. We’ve lost the tradition. No more preparation, anticipation, or excitement of a special day once per week where routine is broken for celebration.
Celebrations mark time. They are milestones. Even from ancient times, people marked weekly and yearly events. These events provide the tie that binds a culture together. Without these events, we become our own type of “cancel culture,” in this case, the American culture.
Do you see a cost to abandoning traditions? Obviously, the celebrations might look different in a pandemic. I’m just asking if there’s a cost to letting traditions go. The time to think about this is now, not a year or two from now. I heard someone say that we could be like this until 2025. See what I mean?
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??