Whether you’re an early Christmas decorator or one who holds to the “day after Thanksgiving” rule, the air is already charged with anticipation. Do you feel it? November and December are the two months of the year that best lend themselves to celebrating and memory making.
And now, before we’re caught up in the inevitable hustle and bustle of the season is the perfect time to quiet yourself and think back on past holidays.
What are the traditions that meant the most? What did you think of that made you smile on the inside? What experience enveloped you in nostalgia? And even more importantly, why? Why does that particular ritual still resonate with you?
As a young mother, one of my most precious memories was gathering in the den on Thanksgiving Day at my parent’s house. There’s a sweet sadness that fills me when I relive those moments. Gramma sitting prim and proper, legs crossed and cradling a mug of cider, babies crawling all over, a fire warming the room and Daddy encouraging us to think back over the past year and share something that filled us with gratitude.
Of course, gratitude didn’t always come easy. There were hard years when we were blindsided by a cancer diagnosis or months on end of Chemo. But like a pinpoint of light in a dark room, God was faithful. Even then, there were often gifts to name. “I’m thankful that the diagnosis was early and the chemo seems to be working.”
The essence of Thanksgiving Day was that …God has blessed this family -let’s remember and give Him thanks.
As for Christmas, my parents kept Christmas well. In my earliest memories, even before our family started regularly going to church, there was an undeniable focus on Jesus.
I have forever etched in my mind a Christmas Eve when Mom and Dad came into mine and my sisters bedroom right before bedtime. It was dark out, but the street lamp in front of our house spilled a blueish light onto the wood floors. All four of us knelt there, in that puddle of blue light, and my parents prayed. Although I have no memory of exactly what was said in that prayer, I remember feeling a sense awe. We, as a family, were kneeling and talking to Jesus. The same Jesus whose birthday we were celebrating. Amazing.
Our holiday celebrations flow out of Our Faith in God and our focus on family. There are lots of rituals and traditions we add to our celebrations, but they all come from those two things, our faith and our family.
So knowing the essence of why your family celebrates, is a good place to start when planning your holiday.
Can you take a minute and ask yourself why? Why do I go to all the trouble to celebrate in November and December? If you have time, write down your thoughts…
The answers will be different for everyone, but understanding why you celebrate can help you know what to embrace and what to let go of in the coming weeks.
My hope is, that we can take a little time before all the merrymaking, to find inspiration for what matters most-with that in mind, I’m doing a series of posts…