When does a ritual become a tradition? Last year I mentioned that Martine and I have a holiday ritual in which we burn a piece of the previous year’s Christmas tree while we decorate the tree for the current year. I referred to it as a “ritual,” but this is the third year in a row in which we did it, and we have a bit of stump from this year’s tree already set aside for Christmas 2007 – so I think it has officially become a “tradition.”
Another holiday tradition is that every year, while hanging the lights on the tree, I say to Martine, “Jeez, to think they used to stick candles on these things. Talk about a fire hazard!” She, as is the tradition, nods as if she hasn’t heard it before.