What stands out is many of these women (as it is usually the women who ask me…perhaps men talk about these things too, yet I am only privy to the female side of the equation).
Anyhow, many of the women who have asked me this question, in hopes of garnering wisdom in making decisions about their own family traditions, are Christians. Not nominal, “I visit church infrequently, call myself a Christian because it makes me feel good” Christians…but “I believe Christ died for my sins and I have and continue to repent of said sins and people can tell something is different about me” Christians.
Therefore, traditions, for the sake of argument, are nonentities. There is nothing in the Bible about the celebration of Christmas as a holiday and therefore no said recipe as to how to celebrate, apart from the commandments—love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.
So, as I see it, if it is up to you and your spouse to begin celebrating as a family whether or not children will soon be a part of that family…it is time to emphasize Christ in the celebrating.
This does not mean copying everyone else who has attempted to Christianize their already familiar and favorite activities so as not to have to give them up. Instead, this means seeking wisdom through God’s Word; spending time in prayer and reflection on what it means to honor the One Who humbled Himself in order that we might have life.
Example: would Jesus wish to have a birthday cake that He cannot partake of? Or, might He better appreciate having a birthday celebration in which the homeless shelter residents might enjoy and also celebrate birthdays nobody has remembered?
Read the Words of Jesus and figure what He would enjoy being a part of in your family’s tradition.
And once a tradition has been set, also remember to be flexible. That we are not here to serve the tradition, rather the tradition is in place to serve us as we fulfill the great commission.
And remember, even Jesus enjoyed His friends’ companionship. He attended a wedding. He ate with His friends. He wept. He had compassion. He listened. As the New Year embarks and resolutions run rampant let us take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the company of loved ones in the spirit of the One who has given us breath.