Recently an acquaintance of mine, while looking for a new home, came across a beauty with an interesting history. Not only was the house over 100 years old but since 1945 this home (and its several homeowners) has been “famous” for passing out homemade gingerbread cookies on Halloween. Every kid in the neighborhood, as well as the adults that grew up in the neighborhood, knows about the gingerbread house. So this friend needed to think: what would happen if they moved in and decided to not uphold this long-standing neighborhood ritual? Would it cause feelings of shame? Guilt? Nothing? It made me think about the homes I’d known from my childhood, the homes with long-standing traditions that I’d grown to count on.
There was the neighborhood with incredible car-stopping Christmas decorations that we would tour every year. The house that for decades displayed “NOEL” across the four columns of their home. The neighborhood with such fabulous Halloween trick-or-treating traditions that now, due to the incredible foot traffic, request that every kiddo bring with them a donation for the city’s local food center. (Now there’s a tradition that has morphed from inactive viewing to active participation from the people visiting the neighborhood.)
So let me ask our readers: Have you ever moved into a new home or neighborhood only to discover the (burden? blessing?) of a long-standing tradition? If so, did you decide to uphold the ritual, let it go completely or start your own new annual ceremony or statement?