Even though our life circumstances have changed over the last several months, we are trying to maintain some of the traditions that we’ve done as a family. For us, several of those traditions revolve around Christmas.
Usually, we’ve gotten out the Christmas decorations for the house the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, we had to do that early since we went to Canada for Thanksgiving. However, we were still able to decorate the house for the holidays as a family, which we all enjoyed.
A second family tradition revolves around the great annual tradition of many churches in the United States – the children’s Christmas program. There is just something so innocent and simple about the Christmas story being told by and with children is refreshing.
Anyway, tonight was the children’s Christmas program at Seymour CRC where we are currently attending. Zachary and Bethany were members of the choir, and neither of them had an individual speaking part. They both did a superb job.
One of the traditions that we have is to come home after the program and let the kids each open up one stocking gift. It’s our way of congratulating them for a job well done at the program. This is a tradition that my family did when I was younger and we’ve enjoyed passing it on to our kids.
N0rmally my parents have been involved in this annual tradition as well, helping us pass it on, either by providing a gift for them and/or attending the program and then joining us for supper after the big event. This year, of course, they weren’t here, but I’m sure they’ll be proud to know that we continued the tradition by having them each open a gift tonight. Bethany rightly noted that is was different not having grandparents or great-grandparents coming over afterwards, but they were excited about their gifts.
Traditions stir up remembrances, histories, and times past and help us carry them forward. They made change or look different in new contexts, but they are always rooted in the past. The Christian faith is full traditions, some better than others, but always with a view to the past helping us remember who we are and using them to shape us into what we will be – more like Jesus.
Oh, and even though Alex wasn’t in the program, he got to open a gift tonight too. After all, this was the first time (since he could walk anyway) that he’s sat in church – and he didn’t do half bad!