Treasured Traditions

We all have them, don’t we? Those treasured family traditions that truly capture the magic and joy of the Christmas season.

We have our fair share of them in our house, too. The Christmas trees (yes, plural this year!) are up and decorated, the singing Christmas dog (don’t even ask) has a new set of batteries in anticipation of its excessive use, the advent candles are lit, the nativity scene is in place, and the Christmas cake is in the oven as we speak.

And yet with all the excitement, there is a sadness too—at the many Christmas traditions we are unable to do in this pandemic year. No candlelit church services, no visits with relatives across the Atlantic or festive gatherings with friends, no Christmas concerts or parties or visits to Santa’s grotto for the kids.

And yet what this year has taught us is that perhaps some of the traditions we hold so dear are really not all that important after all. That in spite of all the things we are unable to do that typically give us that warm, fuzzy, festive feeling, Christmas is still happening. Jesus hasn’t gone anywhere.

Our circumstances may change from one year to the next. One year may ‘feel’ more or less like Christmas than the one before. But regardless of what’s happening in the world at any given time, regardless of where we are or how we spend it, God still sent His son and there is still a Savior worth celebrating.

And so this year we are reflecting on the traditions we want our family to truly focus on this season. The traditions that will hopefully last long beyond December and will be ingrained in our children’s hearts long after they leave our home. The traditions that don’t just light up our home but point us to the Light of the World.

We can bake as many gingerbread houses as we like, fill our house to bursting with sparkly lights, and cram as many presents under the tree as we can manage, but without Christ at the center of it all, it’s meaningless.

He is the only tradition worth celebrating.

What are your family doing this year to keep Christ at the center of the Christmas season?

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on

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