I'm Not Traditional, But...

The seasons of life are fascinating to me. The person that I was last year is a little different than the person I was two years ago. I’m much different than I was ten years ago. In my early twenties, I seemed to push against tradition and I enjoyed changing things just for the sake of change, itself (BTW that’s never a good reason for change). Now in my thirties, I still like to change things, but it’s more about goal setting and efficiency; always asking the questions, 'What are we trying to accomplish?’ and 'How can we do this better?'

Most things can always be accomplished in a more efficient way, but I find myself putting real value on the things that are so good that you don’t want to mess with them. These are the things that become traditions. In my younger years, I saw traditions as something that held me back in an old way of doing things. I now see traditions as the glue between the ever-changing seasons of my life. Our culture moves at an incredibly swift speed, causing us to live in a constant state of business. It’s the consistencies in life that give us a moment of rest and create some sense of stability. 

For our family, this is one the best times of the year. Yes, the traffic is terrible and the lines at the store are long. Yes, there’s a lot of work to do at church to prepare for all the special services. Yes, there’s lots of gifts to buy and money to be spent, but there are a few moments in this season where things slow down and the focal point of Christmas is made clear.

That’s what our Candlelight & Communion services are to me. It’s a time to come together with friends and family and have a moment of clarity in the midst of the chaos of life. It’s a moment to celebrate God coming to us in the person of Jesus, and then giving the love of Christ to the world around us. It’s a moment to be light, in a dark world. This has become a tradition for our family and for our church.

The second thing we do this season as a church is our Christmas Eve service. We started this last year and decided that it is worth becoming a tradition. This is a one hour service at 6pm, where the whole family is together. We sing some traditional Christmas carols with an acoustic guitar and then hear the Christmas story. At the end, we give out candy to the kids. It’s a really simple service, but it’s a great way to spend Christmas Eve with family and friends.

These are some of the traditions that our family participates in. What are some of your family traditions around the holidays? If you haven’t started any traditions yet, I encourage you to do so this Christmas. These are the moments our children will look back on. Let’s create good memories for our families and be a light to the world around us.

'Kris Carey