“These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family.” Esther 9:28
I have tremendously enjoyed taking a few days off this week – as much as any mother of four can take a few days “off”. I have read more, slept more, worshipped more, “blown more bubbles” (my term for whiling away the hours with my children–in their love languages) and wondered why I don’t do this MORE?!
In these days of rush-hour lives, it seems almost impossible to slow down and fight against busyness (B.U.S.Y. = bound under satan’s yoke) to enjoy each other. It’s easy to let hours, days or years go by and wonder where they went. Families need to combat the unraveling and stay tightly knit; one way is through family traditions.
“Chips!” my three-year-old screamed when he came down one Christmas morning, despite the toys that surrounded the chips. On video, it truly sounds like a 4-letter-word, but our funny home video reminds the Bradys that Christmas mornings bring chips, since our son’s food allergies prevented the “normal” Christmas morning sweets.
As Christmas approaches, fresh cranberries are strung with popcorn to hang on the Brady tree; Chris’s favorite cookies are decorated, and the Legend of the Candy Cane is repeatedly read. Dad’s calendar is opened to reserve a day for “stealth” family shopping and an evening for ornament painting. We buy (or make) one new labelled ornament for each child, so when he or she leaves the home one day, his or her new tree will bear years of memories on which to build new ones.
Some traditions bless others while creating family bonding. When I was growing up, my mother would volunteer to work holidays at the nursing home where she was a nurse. My father, brothers and I would then join her and convene with the elderly, bring dessert and lead singing. My 14-year-old son recently worked 5 hours at the Operation Christmas Child warehouse – something that could become a tradition as our family gets old enough to participate. Caroling in the neighborhood, adopting a family, cleaning the house for toys & coats to donate, visiting the sick, and making cards for the elderly are great ways for the family to act as a team in blessing others.
Most important would be those traditions that revolve around God’s message to us. Traditional attendance of a church service, memorizing Scripture, and singing songs are wonderful “habits” for my children to take along to their own families one day. One family of nine visited us last Christmas and simultaneously recited all of Luke Chapter 2 at the dinner table (upon our request once we heard it was in their repertoire). What a great family Christmas tradition each of the children will remember forever!!
What are your traditions? I would love it if you attached a comment below with a tradition- even if it is one already mentioned -even if it seems silly, like “chips!”. (note: Comments here stay with this letter, although Facebook comments disappear with the timeline.) You may inspire another reader -including myself- with a new tradition that knits families for generations to come.
Enjoy your family,