Yellow springs welcomed the beginning of 2023 with the revival of the most cherished tradition: throwing a disco ball in the center of the city. New Year’s Eve villagers gathered in crowds. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

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This year, we asked our readers to share with us some of their favorite traditions—old, new, lost, and lost—and what the traditions mean to them. Below are the responses we received, as well as a few messages from the News staff.

We coughed up respiratory illnesses for most of October and then got our first bout of COVID in early December. We made it just in time to have a family feast with cookies and turkey, candles and presents. At Christmas, we all walked along the frozen river, sparkling with sunlight, and a week later, on a balmy, foggy New Year’s Day, we watched a heron fishing in the flowing water. Traditions to me are about nurturing relationships, appreciating the beauty of each season, and celebrating the turning of the wheel of life.
— Abigail Cobb

Traditions are what I return to for comfort in an ever-changing world. An annual vacation to a favorite vacation spot, getting together with close friends to celebrate multiple birthdays in the same month, taking a friend who doesn’t go to her favorite restaurant once a year, an annual golf trip with our Taylor League foursome, Thanksgiving Zoom with by family members who have now traveled far and wide. As I write this list, I now realize that my traditions revolve around friends, travel, family, and food. I bet I’m not the only one who will mention these categories.
— Pam Conine

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I always run around New Year’s and clear the champagne bottles around YS.– Matej Rashka

The real joy—and life-changing event—was the return of Antioch College’s traditional annual in-person reunion in July 2022. I had barely left the house in two and a half years, but when I heard that Antioch was planning to hold another in-person reunion, i was in everything! Being at the reunion reconnected me with Antioch, Antiochians, and many dear people and significant places of my 29 years in Yellow Springs. And the meeting brought me back to the world. Thank you, Antioch College!

I long for the return of the traditional Yellow Springs Thanksgiving, although a few new-to-me traditions fill my heart with love and hope for the future—the annual hike to Glen Helen with Yellow Springer Jamie and his cat Benny on a leash, and the annual visit to Women’s Park in Yelow Springs. (Thanks to the late Gene Trolander and the current volunteers who keep this gem of a park going!)
– Corey Slavit

A tradition I plan to continue is a deepening relationship with the cultivation of ancestral medicinal herbs that have significant transatlantic cultural significance to African American culture. I plan to grow hibiscus, which is native to West Africa, and also honor endangered native plants such as golden seal and American ginseng – growing them to ensure their continued presence as a species.
— Cheryl Durgans

When we face our first Christmas without our children at home for the holidays at the ages of 26, 29 and 30, what can I do say? I am waiting for 2023. Maybe then they will all be with us, with a granddaughter too!

So, with the marriage, we have a new tradition to celebrate every year.

I’m grateful for that at least. until then stay warm and healthy as best you can.
— Linda Griffith

I’m looking forward to spending the holidays with my family and friends, especially as we approach our 10 year anniversary of throwing a New Year’s Eve party for friends. I am also looking forward to the Perry League, a true example of an inclusive community. Thanks in advance to the organizers!
– Jessica Thomas

This is a tradition 1500 years ago that people kept and keep:

“Stop killing!”
Master Chan’s Cloud of Promise (Song Dynasty)
For countless years the bitter brew of hatred has been simmering,
His vengeful broth is an ocean, it cannot be appeased.
To find out the reason for so much conflict, terror, hatred and war,
Hear the screams at midnight at the butcher’s door.
— Ju Mao

As immigrants, we left behind many of our traditions. Still, it’s been a lot of fun inventing new ones over the past 17 years. Starting new traditions is exciting and I hope our kids will embrace inventing traditions. This year I started a tradition of bringing my friend Shaunie a jar of blooming peonies when the bush at her father’s old place blooms. I would like to continue this as long as I can.
— Chris Wyatt

A new tradition my family started in 2021 — and I hope will continue this year — is a leisurely summer kayak trip down the Little Miami River with my husband Anthony’s family. There are moments of group joy, such as when we point out sun turtles on nearby logs to each other, but there are also moments of solitude as we each navigate the river on our individual personal watercraft. I like to have a bag of Cheetos and some loofy hip-hop on hand for maximum relaxation.
— Lauren Shaw

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