Since it's a topic on family matters, I thought it'd be good to get an opinion from my hubby. So, yesterday over some roti canai, I had a coffee/tea chat with the hubs...
Me: What family tradition do you think you'd like to pass down to the kids?
Hubby: Family prayer time.
Me: But, we are not even doing that.
Hubby: Then, we have to start doing it.
Me: Okaaayy... How about existing family traditions that's in your family now? Any worth passing on to the kids?
Hubby: *thinking very hard* Erm.....hmm....I mean Chinese New Year dinners, Christmas dinners are nothing unique....umm....Ideally something that is unique to the family.....nothing-la.
Me: Nothing right?! Actually I can't think of any either. How about an annual family holiday together?
Hubby: What? Is that in your family tradition?
Me: Well it was when we were little. We used to go for holidays together with my cousins at least once...
Hubby: *cut in* You see, a family tradition has to stay as a family tradition. It's not a family tradition if you don't practice it anymore.
Me: *annoyed* Okay then let's follow through and make it happen.
Hubby: A family tradition also must not become a chore. When others in the family start complaining how hard it is to meet up or cook up a family dinner then it shouldn't be a family tradition anymore.
Me: *he is actually making sense*
Hubby: That's why we should have something like a Movie Night or a Maggi Mee (instant noodles) night.
Me: *Oh my Lord, is he serious??!* Maggi Mee night?!! *now he's just making no sense*
Hubby: Yeah, I used to have that with my dad...
Me: Like your dad sat down and had a meaningful chat with you over Maggi Mee?!
Hubby: Well no. We just ate Maggi Mee together.
Me: *still in shock* PH-lease, I don't want that kind of tradition in this family. You don't need to teach our kids how to eat Maggi Mee. And, even if you want to have a good chat with them, it doesn't have to be over Maggi Mee! *MEN!*
So the chat went on into religion, junkfood and how sad it is that we don't actually have a family tradition that is worth passing down to the kids. Besides, of course the usual family reunion dinners and get together during Chinese New Year and Christmas (which has become more like obligatory commitments) that will continue on as long as we're still Chinese and Christians.
I gave it some thought and feel that the little things I do with my kids now do count as something precious that I hope my kids will continue doing with their kids next time. And one of it is showing affection - the hugs, the kisses and saying "I love you". With my own parents, there have always been a barrier in showing our love through words, hugs and kisses. They were usually reserved for special occasions like birthdays or Christmas. It's worse on my hubby's side - I have never seen him give his parents a hug or a kiss, ever. I don't know, maybe it's an Asian thing. I know Westerners do it so often that it's become a way of life. My son, however, is a Lotsahuggin' little boy who loves to smother me with kisses and "I love yous". I am hoping he will carry on that all important way of showing affection and have it live on as a family legacy.
Of course, family prayer time is on our family tradition to-do list as well.
How about you? Any family traditions worth passing on through generations?