Monday, October 15, 2012

31 days - the journey of traditions

As a child, you do Christmas the way your parents do Christmas. You don't ask questions. You might or might not realize as you grow older that you can take the initiative in giving (and even using your own money). You more or less do what is done in your home of origin.

Once you begin adult life you begin to take ownership of how you celebrate Christmas. This might be dictated by school or work or where you find yourself doing these things.

At some point your adult life might merge with another adult. and especially if that includes a spouse who had parents who did Christmas differently, it gets tricky (like a minefield is tricky).

Then there is the season when you become the parent and you evaluate 'is this how we want to do it with our family?'

Each year we ask 'how will these decisions/traditions' genuinely mark the celebration of Christ's birth and the anticipation of His coming again in our nuclear family. We have been at this for 17 years, 13 years as parents. Some of the questions are pretty well ironed out. Some require new or more attention each year.

Traditions include everything from social events during the month, how Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are spent, the ways gifts are given (and opened), and food traditions. Some are clear mine-fields and some are totally surprising.

For us, we have clung to verses about "leaving and cleaving" and the blessing of our families that we are a new family unit as well as sought to "Honor our mothers and fathers".  (We also don't believe Honoring involves having our emotions or children manipulated. That is a whole other blog topic that I will write about in .... close to 15 years when I see how I am walking it out with my adult children.)

We have some traditions that we have ironed (IRONED) out with grace, and some with mess, but each year it has come down to 'can we both live with this decision' AND 'we believe we are stewarding our children's hearts' AND 'we feel like these choices will grow our family's relationship with Christ'. We also take a look at our choices each year, just as we do with homeschool. Is what we did last year what we are supposed to do this year?

Imperfect, but in progress for sure.

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