Chasing Contentment

Sunday, December 18

Loving Traditions
I love the holiday season and most everything about it. Now that we're all off from work and school for a few weeks, I am surrounded by my little family, and I am reminded of the warmth I feel in their presence. Sure, we've already annoyed one another more than once, but we've also laughed loudly more than that.

The families Mike and I grew up with didn't have many traditions, and we decided when we married that we would make our own as our marriage - and our family - grew. I've written about our traditions several times during this Advent season.

Each year before Thanksgiving, I get out my holiday questions and we talk about what we each want from and for the holidays. We have several traditions that don't change - lighting the Advent candles in our wreath each Sunday evening - and some that do.

Talking about our answers to the questions gives me a real feel for where we each are at this point in the year and what things will minister to each of us best. I want these traditions to be things that anchor our family together in tangible and emotional ways, but I also want them to be fluid enough to change as our family changes.

I want the traditions to be tied to us rather than us being tied to the traditions.

So, as we draw closer and closer to Christmas Day, I see that we didn't plan or carry out any of our Thanksgiving traditions because we chose, instead, to spend that day in Arkansas with my extended family. And we're seeing that our New Year's Eve traditions won't be followed either because Mike's brother and his family will be in the state and have wishes of their own for that night.

And those are okay things for me, because not following those particular traditions this year says to me that we're putting family ahead of tradition. And, in the end, being with people we love and who love us is what matters.

After all, the Baby Jesus is, to me, the perfect representation of love, and this Advent season is about nothing less than the anticipation of His birth. Shouldn't we put love ahead of tradition when one conflicts with the other? And shouldn't we inject all the love we can into each tradition our family holds dear?

In the years to come, when my children are much older and talking to one another, I want them to fondly remember the Advent seasons that we created together. I want them to have favorite traditions that they will carry on into their own families, but I also want them to know from experience that love and the people we love take priority over any tradition of our making.

[  posted by Chel on Sunday, December 18, 2005  ]


Ah! a tradition of love! A good way to sum up creativity within bounds (traditions) that will call your children home and teach them to fly.

By Blogger Kim Anderson, at 4:29 AM  

I chaim in with Kim. This is a wonderful tradition - tradition of love. Being flexible to the wishes of others, that is awesome.
Have a blessed & Merry Christmas, Chel.

By Blogger eph2810, at 6:05 PM  

Thanks... I'm not always the most flexible girl going - I like a nice schedule & routine - but I know the value of people is greater than my desire for order, so I try at times like these to stretch to make things work for all of us.

By Blogger Chel, at 9:10 AM  

Post a Comment