The scent of turkey fills the air and candles
flicker in the festive room. The house
is enrobed with lights that seem to twinkle and dance to the music that’s softly
pouring forth. Laughter of
children fills the room as the family excitedly awaits the dining table which
is laden with rich foods, almost seeming to sigh under its mouth-watering load.
A glimpse of tradition.
A moment captured in time that will nestle deeply
into the minds of our children, long after they’re grown.
But there is more than meets the eye…behind
all the joys and laughter of these highlights in life often stands “the
mom”. The one who has been up
before dawn preparing the bird to be dressed. The one who set the table with a fussing baby on one hip and
the china precariously balanced on the other. The one who knows that even though the time to prepare is a
thousand times longer than the time it will take to consume, it is still worth
Interesting, isn’t it, how obliviously we
floated through these moments as children? Sure, we savoured some food and took in some of the
surroundings, but we had no idea of the COST; the sacrifice that someone else
had made on our behalf. And
now, we find ourselves “the moms”…the ones who are holding high the torch and trying
to carry on the traditions for the next generation. Only now fully realizing the gift with which we’ve been
As the years flow from one to the next, I
admit that periodically I’m still surprised by the exertion that traditions
require of us as moms. Although
nothing brings me greater joy than creating a home of warmth, love and legacy; we
have permission to be honest with each other that it’s not always a pleasurable
process. And it certainly isn’t an
Traditions take effort and
determination. And if we want our family
member’s hearts to be filled with nostalgic, delectable memories that they can
treasure in the future, then we need to accept that the present will take significant
resolve on our part.
But maybe you didn’t grow up in a home of
traditions and you feel lost at how to begin this in your home; if so, the news
is good – never before have our fingertips had access to more information to
guide us. It doesn’t need to be
complicated or overwhelming, just choose a few recipes that you think your
children will love and make them your annual signature pieces. Find a few ideas for decorating that
you can realistically make on the budget you have and have fun with it.
And most importantly, smile.
I imagine that God had moms in mind when He
spoke to the importance of serving joyfully, in His Word. I love the verse in Ephesians 6:7 that
reminds us to, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men
(or children).” That should be the reason we begin new
traditions or carry on with the ones we already know – to serve God with our
WHOLE HEARTS in our homes at special seasons and the rest of the year, as well.
When we add the gift of ourselves serving
with joy, to the beauty of these traditions, it will be as if we’ve packaged
the season in a beautifully wrapped gift that can be opened over and over
again. I’m not talking perfection
– let’s go easy on ourselves and keep moderate expectations – but the way in
which we carry ourselves through the holidays makes all the difference in the
The glow on our faces and the thankfulness that
bubbles out of our mouths will write with an indelible marker on the hearts of
our children, the joy of “home and holidays”. Each dinner, every celebration, all the festivities become
layers upon layers of one of the most precious gifts we can give our families –
the gift of traditions. Garnishes
don’t need to have a high price tag and the edibles don’t need to be fancy…but
when we allow the grace and loveliness of us, the moms, to pour out in our
homes, we will be bestowing upon our children a gift of rare beauty that will
go beyond our lifetimes .