As Christmas approaches, I am reminded of many memories from past holidays. As a child, I can remember the fun of decorating the tree and rearranging the presents over and over again with my little sister. I also fondly remember the time we bundled up switches to leave for our parents with notes from "Santa" about the bad things they had done that year. Of course, it was all in fun, and we laughed every year when my mom put out the switches as part of our holiday decorating... it became a tradition.
When I became a mom and began to make memories with my own family, it was important to me to create traditions for my children and to make the holidays meaningful and fun. Recently, my daughter commented that our family doesn't have any traditions. That statement really took me aback, and I began frantically searching my mind about what traditions we do have in our family. I began to easily identify the things that we do to make the holidays special, and I took it upon myself to prove that we do have traditions in our home. So, I started making a list. In only a few minutes, I was able to list over 20 things that I consider to be traditions. When I shared the list with my daughter, she disagreed about many of the items being "a tradition". I realized that the word tradition is actually a pretty loose term. I had no choice but to surrender to the fact that my children don't recognize some of the same traditions that I do. That was a little hard for me at first, but I came to terms with it eventually (albeit unwillingly).
I decided that it's ok for us to have different ideas about traditions, as long as one thing always remains. In my home, and with my family, we will always celebrate the Christmas holiday as the birth of our Savior. After all, this is the underlying truth that rules our lives and holds our family together every day of the year.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth." Psalm 100:1