i was recently talking with an older pastor friend when the conversation came to the topic of “tradtion”. i casually mentioned that i love traditions. he was surprised by the fact since i am in my twenties. i guess he thought us young folk scorn the traditional over the modern. maybe that is true for many, but i have my foot in both camps. i love traditions, sometimes to the point of stubbornness, but i do lovingly embrace change for the greater good. i am a Vintage Modernist. i stand in the present, holding hands with the past and future. for me, tradition has grown out of the loyalty and security cultivated by a loving family relationship, and i am so thankful for it.
while tradition is rooted much deeper than just cozy holiday rituals, those are the simple joys of life that help me to be thankful and reflect the reasons behind them. and most of the traditions i’ve kept are the ones revolving around Christmas, such as:
- putting the christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving, and then watching “Home Alone”.
- going to the candlelight Christmas Eve service with my family at the church where i grew up. the accapella rendition of Silent Night at the end always makes me cry.
- my family’s “cocktail pajama party” on Christmas Eve (after church) with a dinner of hors d’oeurves and sparkling grape juice. afterward, my dad reads aloud the birth of Jesus as told by Luke.
- getting up at 6:00 am on Christmas to open stockings as a family. my mom always makes made-from-scratch whole wheat cinnamon rolls; my dad brews Starbucks Christmas Blend to go with them. words cannot describe…
the traditions by themselves would not last without the family love burning behind them that fuels our hearts through the cold, dark days and nights of winter.
over the past couple of years, i’ve also developed some new holiday traditions of my own: baking/decorating 100% whole wheat organic sugar christmas cookies (my family has come to expect them), shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, listening to my “Peppermint Mocha Mix” ipod playlist featuring hundreds of Christmas songs, and watching “The Family Stone” after i decorate my Christmas tree (the day after Thanksgiving).
and tomorrow night i’m going to celebrate a new Fall tradition: watch “It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, with a cup of hot cider.
what are some of your favorite holiday traditions?