I’ve never understood this line of the song. Why would lords leap?
It occurs to me, though, that it might be pretty boring to be a lord. Your whole existence is based on who you are, or more importantly, who you parents are. People expect nothing of you except that you’ll act the way they expect. The course of your life, to a very great extent, is determined before you are ever born.
Unless you have the courage to seek out new experiences on your own. Leaping, in that case, could be a metaphor: ten lords, bored with the utter predictability of their lives, go leaping into the unknown to try something they’ve never done before.
In a way, the holidays are like that. Most of us travel to the same place–often the same house–year after year, follow the same traditions year after year, do the same things year after year. The only things that change are the ages of the participants and the presents in the packages.
For many of us, that’s all we want. Our lives, we say, are exciting enough; no need to go seeking out new things during the one part of the year we trust to be completely predictable.
But for others, we follow the traditions because we can’t think of anything we’d like to do more, or because it’s what people expect, or because not following them seems somehow wrong. Or, perhaps, because it’s the one time all year we get to see our families.
If it works for you, go for it. Enjoy your holidays. Spend time with your family. Remember to embrace your traditions.
But if you’re beginning to find the traditions stifling–don’t be afraid to try something new. It doesn’t have to be as drastic as going on a cruise instead of going to visit your family, remember. It could be as simple as bringing a different dish to dinner. If you always bring the green bean casserole, maybe this year you bring a sweet potato casserole. Or a giant fruit salad. Maybe you start your vacation early enough to go visit that roadside attraction you’ve always been curious about on the way to visit Grandma. If you have the resources, maybe you bring the whole family out to the timeshare for the holidays, instead of going to Grandma’s.
Bear in mind that whatever you do differently, it could blow up in your face. It could turn out to be the worst holiday ever. Or it could succeed beyond your wildest dreams, becoming a new family tradition. In either case, you will have tried something new. And in either case, you’ll probably have some great stories to tell.