Champagne Friday is a tradition in my family that began with my parents who originally intended it to be a date night; a night to reconnect after a long week of disconnect and toast a glass of champagne to each other.
It has since evolved into a grander celebration of family and friends who drink champagne on as many Fridays as possible even if we're not always together. Like many families, we live in different parts of the country and can't always toast a glass of champagne in person. But participating in the tradition, no matter where we are on any given Friday, helps us remember who we are and who we came from; it helps us reflect on the blessings of our lives; and it's a great way to unwind from a busy week of life.
Family traditions are so important in that they ground us. They give us an outlet to maintain a sense of normalcy in time when people can feel quite disconnected from one another. Family traditions can also instill a sense of pride for your family, even if it's something as simple as making great-grandma's lemon pie recipe every Thanksgiving. It just makes you feel good to honor great-grandma at your own table, and remember the tradition she started, after you've moved away from home and family to start your own life.
I had a difficult time living away from my family for the first several years, especially when certain traditions were happening and I couldn't be there anymore.
But my grandma told me that at some point I would have to start my own family traditions. That it was OK to let go a little of the traditions I had growing up and make my own new traditions that suited the family I was starting.
I can't tell you how liberating it was for me when grandma told me it was OK to let go. I had so much worry and anxiety over disappointing my family when I couldn't make it home for every holiday or birthday or 24th of July to watch the fireworks from our front yard. Grandma helped me realize that like she did when she moved away from her family, it was my turn to learn to create happiness and celebration for my husband and kids, friends and anyone else who might come along.
It's not as easy as it sounds, grandma, but six years later I'm still working on it and I feel more confident about starting my own traditions than I used to. It just seems like I can't let go of certain family traditions you and grandpa and mom and day started; they're just better than I've been able to come up with. Especially Champagne Friday. That's one I'll take to my grave, glass of bubbly in hand.