Tuesday, March 17, 2009
St. Patrick's Day and Tradition
No one is going to believe what I am about to say and everyone will laugh..........But I am going to say it anyways.......We are more Irish then we are Swedish!! Now, why we are named Swede Farm is coming later in another post, because that is not the reason for this post.
Apparently, the fact that we kids have more Irish blood (from both sides of the family) then Swedish blood (from dad's side of the family) has long been some sort of talking point. As long as I can remember we have had both sets of tradition--St. Lucia Day for the Swedish in us and St. Patrick's day for the Irish in us. So, for us kids it has never been a big deal--We are Irish, Swedish, a mix of other things, but in the end we are 100% Americans, 110% Texans.
Mom was really happy when one of my sisters thought it might be a good idea to be born on St. Patrick's Day. But she missed by a day, so does that make us more Swedish?
Ever year at least one of us has been known to say. "I have green eyes, so don't pinch me!!" And for the rest of us who are stuck with blue or gray eyes, we have been known to say, "I'm Irish. that means I don't have to wear green, NO pinching!" (if we are lacking in green clothing) Which then causes the argument, of is that a valid reasoning behind not being pinched. (As I typing, I am praying that it is, since I don't have any green farm cloths to wear).
Along with the rush to get green on before we are spotted by the ever eager younger children, (They think it's payback time!). It is also the day for corned beef and cabbage, yum-o! Most years we have it for dinner, but with half the family going to market right after lunch, we decided to do it for lunch.
We also remember to discuss why we celebrate St. Patrick's day. It's not all about shamrocks as decorations and trying to find leprechauns with pots of gold. It's about the man and what he did. We normally read a book sometime the week before St. Patrick's day, since the book isn't one of those you read in one sitting. And watch a little movie about St. Patrick. Now, the funny part is what the movie is. (Yes, you can laugh all you want! lol ) It's been Veggie Tales for the past few years. Because in "Sumo of the Opera" there is a 5-10 minute clip about St. Patrick and what he did for Ireland. (For a movie aimed at younger children and about history they do a very good job covering his life)
All these things we do are traditions, some are family traditions and some is traditions that everyone does, even if they don't know why.
Tradition, is something that our family has been raised on. From the traditions from the country's that our ancestor came from--St. Patrick's Day, to traditions from our area of the US--Black eye peas on New Year's day, to family traditions--Special coffee for everyone on Christmas day or starbucks for birthday fraps.
It kind of reminds me of the song from Fiddler on the Roof. Where it starts out with singing tradition. In fact when ever someone in our family asks why we do what we do and another family member says "Tradition". At least one person is bound to start singing "tradition".
The truth is tradition is what makes our family, our family and special to each of us. The tradition that our parent's, parent's passed to them and they in turn passed to us. But it's not only the traditions that have been handed down to us, but also the ones we make (like watching veggie tales for St. Patrick's day). Tradition is one thing that makes each family different and special in their own way and days like today with their traditions remind us of who we are.