The Holidays, Tradition and Masculinity

Having just passed through Thanksgiving weekend we are officially in the midst of the holiday season. Many men that I know have dropped out of the holiday madness being disgusted by the commercialism that surrounds modern western holidays. After all, why wouldn’t you want to drop out? The reality is that any religious meaning, anything deeper than Black Friday was stripped away from the holidays long ago.  What is Thanksgiving but a day to spend with family giving thanks for all of the good things that you have, expressing the manly virtue of gratitude. Yet today Thanksgiving means wasting time watching football, then stuffing yourself to the point of nausea in a gluttony fueled orgy of food. Maybe you’ll sleep on the couch after watching a superhero movie only to be aroused at 4am to get on line at the local mall for a “Black Friday” deal. Don’t forget to run into the bathroom a couple of times to jack off too. Truth be told, I’m depressed just writing about it.

But, dropping out is the way of the coward. This is because men are needed to bring back the traditions and the deeper meanings of life. There is a great line in Charles Sledge’s book, “Man Up”; “A healthy world is forged by healthy nations, healthy nations are forged by strong tribes, strong tribes are forged by strong families, strong families are forged by strong men.”
Gentlemen, we are the guardians of tradition. As we all know, women are emotionally driven and therefore will be blown like leaves in the wind. We men are the rock, the solid foundation of family life and the greater society as a whole. We are the bedrock of our families, churches, businesses, and society as a whole. Our traditions guide us, give us a constant light in all times of happiness or sadness. Tradition is important. Myth is important. Legend is important. Our ancestors knew this. People only two generations ago knew this. We urgently need to reconnect with this. Our nations, societies and families need us to reconnect with this.

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Identity is critical to a man. Identity is just as important to a family and society as it is to an individual. Look at it this way; tradition and myth are to a family what frame is to a man. They are the guiding force, the boundaries that everyone knows and respects. They are the customs of how we show respect to each other, to honor your ancestors and your God. The key with traditions is that they must be diligently kept and observed. They are perishable and fragile. They can disappear in a generation, and many have. The holidays are the perfect time to rediscover traditions.

There are two different types of tradition in relation to the holidays. The first type of traditions are the age old traditions of your culture. If you’ve grown up in the west disconnected from your heritage then now is the time to find it. All it takes is a few internet searches and you can easily find ways that your not so distant ancestors celebrated Christmas and the New Year. Expand this to other feasts throughout the year. You’ll find that your ancestors celebrated everything. They lived a cycle of life much different from us yet much healthier. If you are a Christian you will find this in the cycles of fasting and feasting laid out throughout the year.

The second type of tradition has to do with the details of your family life. These are the little things that you do with your family like trekking out in the snow somewhere to cut down a Christmas tree or a certain type of Christmas cookie that your wife makes perfectly for you. These types of tradition are extremely important as they give you and your family shared, happy experiences to enjoy together and forge your bonds with each other.

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It is important that you are the driving force behind this. Let your woman know what these traditions are and that they are to be kept diligently. She will take that from you and do everything in her power to produce your wishes for the respective holiday down to the last detail. You will enjoy watching her fuss over the smallest detail to please you and your wishes.
If you are not married yet then spend time with your family, observing your family traditions. Take care to learn them. Those who are passing the torch to you will not live forever. You need to take up that torch as a man and carry it forward, one day passing it on to your offspring. You will carry this tradition on with you when you get married. If you don’t get along with your family now, or you live away from them, use this time to research what you will want things to look like when you do have a family of your own.

Until next time.

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