they're full of tradition.
it's all about the tunes we sing. it's about abandoning the shul we daven in every single week and walking forty five minutes to a shul where everyone wears a white tie. it's about the shir hamaalot that we match with the tune from bircat cohanim. it's about the timeless tunes that have been sung for centuries.
it's all about the foods we eat. aside from the traditional apple-in-honey and fish heads. it's the boiled carrots and raisins that nobody eats, but sits on our table. it's the apples and onions (although in my opinion, the only time fruits and vegetables should be together is in strawberry mango salad) that my great grandmother used to make. it's blending the time-worn traditional foods, with new recipes. although the collection of half-eaten lemon meringues on my dad's plate gave a silent testimony to the popularity of that particular dessert. or lack of.
it's all about the family we spend time with. whether it's the cousins from out of town who join us for meals, the relatives around the corner whom we never see, or even spending time with my siblings (the ones that are home, at least) walking to and from shul, yomim tovim force us to slow down, turn off our phones, take our noses out of our textbooks, and reconnect and form bonds that weaken during the rest of the year as we rush around, each with our own schedules.
it's all about celebrating old traditions, and creating new ones. Customs that my great grandparents practiced in France, Holland, Germany, and Russia, and customs that will be celebrated by my family and handed down to my kids for generations to follow.