It's December, and decorations have been placed and arranged. Everywhere you go people are gearing up and getting excited about Christmas. Believe it or not, me and the kids are having a nice holiday season so far.
We're doing all the typical things...
decorating our home, reading Christmas books, watching Christmas movies, singing Christmas songs - and mostly smiling through it all. It's different - but okay.
However, there has been this nagging question that I haven't really been able to answer. It seems everywhere I go I hear this age old question...
"So what's your favorite Christmas tradition?"
Hmm... most people answer this question by telling what they do with "things" or "people".
For example: decorate with ornaments, bake favorite cookies, get together with specific people...
I guess I could just hang on to the memories of...
1. Reading a different children's Christmas book every night during the month of December
2. Decorating our entire house for Christmas while watching Elf, or the Charlie Brown Christmas Movie
3. Going caroling with our church a week before Christmas - and sharing yummy treats and hot chocolate afterwards
4. Having a beautiful midnight candlelight service on Christmas Eve - and watching the kids go to church in their new Christmas pj's.
All the traditions that John & I built together are stuffed in a box, in a town I no longer live in, or all the way up in Heaven!
So the question becomes is
"tradition" only something you can touch and feel?
I really don't think so - but if you listen to people answer this question of "What's your favorite Christmas tradition" this is how they answer - with things that are tangible.
If this is the case - I don't get to have tradition this year. And quite frankly that's just not good enough for me and my children! No matter what our circumstances are!
Yes, I know what you're thinking.... "I can make NEW Christmas traditions." Oh goodie! Then, I've put myself right back to where I started - building something that can be gone at a moment's notice.
I'm sure the more I heal, these feelings will calm down. I know that as time marches on - I will build new Christmas traditions - in fact, I probably already am - and just don't realize it. This does actually make me smile.
This year though, I want to truly instill in my children that Christmas really is about Christ. How He came to give us eternal hope. How God loved us so much that He wanted us to feel Him right next to us - so He sent His Son to live with us. He wanted us to know that He truly "gets" us - because His Son became a human. What an amazing thing - Almighty God with us! That's some kind of steadfast love!
This is a tradition that can't be stuffed in a box!
This is the kind of thing that my children and myself can take with us no matter where the Lord directs our paths. I don't know what our future holds. Where will we be Christmas 2012? Will the things we did this year get repeated next year and become "tradition"? Only God knows this answer.
I want to encourage you all to find a way to build a tradition in something that can't be touched with human hands - but can be felt and experienced no matter where you are - no matter what your circumstances and that has lasting - eternal - significance....
IMMANUEL - God with us!