Tonight, my dad and I went to get our Christmas tree. Getting the Christmas tree is a very cherished tradition for me because it involves spending time with my dad. My dad works a lot and does not get home until very late at night, and on the weekends he is usually busy. When we get the Christmas tree, however, my dad is free. As we drive down the highway to get the tree, it’s just him and me. There’s a lot of talking, sometimes replaying stories I have heard before but would never say because the expression on my dad’s face as he tells them is one I could never rob from him as he narrates; that look of a storyteller, in the moment, putting everything he has into the story. No matter what the conversation is, whether it’s something or mundane or something I may have heard before, I always listen.
I am thankful for this tradition. Not only does it allow me to listen to my father’s conversations, it allows me to catch my father up on my life. It seems to me that one of the easiest things in this world is to lose touch with the people we care most about. Honoring traditions like this one helps make sure that’s one less person I would ever lose touch with.