Old traditions

Most people have their own traditions, I’m not talking about national traditions in the big sense such as Maypole dancing or bonfire night, or even local sense such as well dressing, such as first footing at new year, but little family traditions, things you always do on a certain day or time of the year, or maybe just think about and remember doing.

At times like Christmas there are loads of little family traditions, and they evolve through the generations. it was a tradition in our family to put the decorations on the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, which was also the day Dad went to the cattle market to buy it (that must have been a tradition too – that the trees were sold there not just in the ordinary market, shops or garden nurseries as they were then called) One year he was either delayed, deviated or just left it too late and there were no trees left, so we decorated our enormous rubber plant.

While we lived in Cambridge it was tradition on Boxing day to visit our friends in the morning, for drinks and nibbles, especially their home-made cheese puffs (I think they were Gruyere cheese and beaten egg whites, deep-fried and utterly deliciousness – they were not cheese gougeres because there was no flour in the recipe – gluten-free!!)

Later our two families along with several others moved to the west country; we lived by the sea in Weston-super-Mare, they lived in Cheddar about ten miles away. Every Boxing Day we used to drive over to the see them and had drinks and cheese puffs; the tradition ended when our friends became frail. However, every Boxing Day I think about driving over to see them, the champagne and ultra-dry martinis and the cheese puffs.

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