I went to Ellis Island recently and was really fascinated by the history around me. All those people arriving in a country where they didn’t know the language, customs or rules, but eager to make their way. One of the things I found particularly fascinating was the luggage, the bags, baskets and trunks.
They literally moved their entire world in a handful of containers. Clearly only those things that truly mattered made the cut. It’s a good way to go about purging your own belongings. If you were moving and could only bring what you could carry, what would you bring? Granted you are going to keep more than that but, it should help with prioritizing which things you truly need or love.
I was even more fascinated with the items they had chosen to bring, Items from their homeland that would make them comfortable in their new homes. Often times people mistakenly think getting organized means getting rid of all their stuff, but it is actually about valuing your stuff. I especially fixated on the musical instruments.
Music is such an integral part of any celebration, I thought how nice in the midst of all this change and what had to be scary decision, they remembered to celebrate. My parents were both first generation American and I remember the accordion was ever present at all my mother’s family celebrations. One cousin or another would break out the accordion and all the old Irish songs would spill forth.
When it comes to planning for and celebrating the holidays, I think it’s important to remember the music as well as the family recipes and traditions. With each generation we are a little more removed from our cultural roots and if not carefully tended they can disappear. As nice as it is to start new traditions and create new memories, it is also nice to remember where we came from and what really matters.