month long, we have focused on traditions that we cherish through the
holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas are filled with routines,
recipes, decorations and gatherings that ground us and give us a
sense of belonging. They are things to hold on to, dependable
moments to cherish.
what about when there is a need to break with tradition and do
something new? For some, the thought of changing or not having those
predictable expectations is overwhelming and unsettling.
Unfortunately we know that life happens in spite of our best
intentions. Death comes to our families, illness brings new
routines, relocation and job changes force us to find new and
different circles of friends. And sometimes, we just long to do
things differently, something that stretches us outside of our
change occurs, there is a great opportunity for grace and flexibility
to be displayed and modeled for our children. Certainly, we must
work on keeping a positive attitude and finding the joy and
excitement in creating new memories and fresh traditions. Looking
back on my own childhood, I treasure memories of Christmas at
grandmas, pies made by particular aunts for Thanksgiving dinner,
presents found under the same tree used year after year. But I also
remember a few times when for whatever reason, Thanksgiving and
Christmas were different than other years. My parents still found
ways to keep it exciting for us and to help us feel secure in our
“new” routines. And often those new experiences found ways to
become traditions of their own.
may you find peace and joy in breaking with traditions whether you
up the color scheme of your Christmas tree
out for holiday dinner instead of cooking at home
Christmas day helping at a homeless shelter or community kitchen
home instead of traveling to visit extended family
a different Christmas light display or musical
a trip to a new destination and celebrate with a different group of
ways to celebrate while missing that special someone who has passed
in a mission trip or project instead of indulging on gifts
to your children that change is always an opportunity for growth.
Share with them that new experiences challenge and stretch us to
broaden our circle of influence. Many of us are creatures of habit.
Having routines help us form an identity and comfort level that
define who we are as families. But I wonder if we are missing great
opportunities and experiences when we resist change and resent events
that disrupt our schedules and routines.
life comes to us in ways that force us to change. Other times, we
feel an unsettling in our souls when we know God is prompting us to
do things a little differently. And then once in a while, we just
get a whim to try something new. Wherever you find yourself and your
family this holiday season, I pray you will enjoy all the traditions
and routines that remain the same for you and embrace those moments
that bring new opportunities for creating memories.
to you and yours this wonderful time of year.