We’re fast approaching the time of year that some view with great anticipation and excitement. Others view it with an attitude more like that when in the dentist office waiting for a root canal. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season can be the most exciting and pleasant time of the year for some. But for others, the holidays bring back memories better left forgotten, or bring with them the inevitable family quarrels and struggles. This time also brings shortened days, which can lead to a very real physiological reaction known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I don’t know how you and your family react to the holidays. For the Planks, it’s a time of family dinners, get-togethers, present exchanges, and celebrating the grace and goodness of God in our lives. We make a big deal out of Thanksgiving, and enjoy the nieces, nephews, and grand kids as they experience the wonder of Christmas. We have traditions that we repeat year after year which are important to us as a family.
One of those traditions is song. At virtually all of our family gatherings, we sing. The Doxology is a must-sing. We also will sometimes sing other songs out of the older genre of hymns that we mostly all know…many of which are imbedded into our minds from long, long ago during the acappella days at the old Pleasant Valley church in Harper. It’s a special time for us, and we hope to pass the tradition along to those in our family who come after us. Those who have married into the family, or have been adopted have quickly caught on and join in.
I don’t know what your family traditions are during this time of year. But I’d like for you to take some time this week and just think about some things that are traditional with you…how the tradition started, why you continue it, and what the value of the tradition is.
My prayer for you is that you will discover anew the wonder that is the love and grace of God this season. Whatever your tradition—however you celebrate—do so with a grateful heart and joyful spirit.