Last night my family and took the long way home from shopping, winding through neighborhoods and back-roads in the pitch of an overcast night as Christmas melodies softly played on the radio, adding to the mystical ambiance. We searched out homes adorned with twinkling lights and decorations, oohing and ahhing at the most brilliant displays. As we move closer and closer to the Big Day, more and more lights begin to appear on eaves, around driveways, and spanning lawns. This is one of my favorite family traditions.
We all have our personal family traditions. Some folks volunteer to be Salvation Army Bell Ringers, some donate their time at missions, some folks opt to brave the cold and sing carols in their neighborhoods. Some bake cakes and pies and cookies to deliver to their neighbors. What does it take to make a tradition? Repetition, sacrifice, love; sometimes hate? However these traditions were born, in them we can find something that resonates within our souls. A comforting feeling of tranquility, peace, and longevity. A sense of family.
Traditions can also transcend holiday events. During times of struggle, traditions cultivate hope. Hope for the future, hope that things are going to work out. Hope that things will not always be this way. You can look back and see that year after year, no matter what happens, your family will come to partake in some sacred rite of love and laughter, bickering and crying; To be together. To be Family.
What are your traditions this Christmas? Will you spend time with your family? If you are separated from your family by land, or water, or feud, will you still try to be reunited with them? While traditions can last for centuries, sadly people do not. Will you miss this opportunity to spend time with someone you love because of a disagreement? Maybe a tradition that we should all develop is forgiveness and reconciliation.