I accidentally started listening to Christmas music last weekend, well before my usual post-Thanksgiving beginning. I was listening to a Needtobreathe playlist on my laptop when “Go Tell It On the Mountain” started playing. It’s a favorite of mine. So I kept listening.
And then I switched to my playlist of Christmas favorites. On Nov. 16. A dozen days before Thanksgiving. This goes against my tradition, but I haven’t regretted it, mostly because God seemed to speak to my heart.
Aside from being a great song, hearing Needtobreathe proclaim Jesus’ birth made me think about traditions. Some of the most meaningful moments of the holiday season are traditions. They are the events and people that have been a part of your celebrations for as long as you can remember. They are what you look forward to the rest of the year.
Traditions are good. But they aren’t everything.
As our kids get older, we’ve established new traditions, which mean not every tradition that has ever been can happen. Honestly, some of my favorite “traditions” have been created in the past couple years: We have a birthday party for Jesus with friends. We go on a tree hunt with our dear friends who have grasped onto the tradition with us. The four of us spend the first hours of Christmas Day home.
But those new traditions are mixed with the old. It’s in that mix that I find God and remember what really matters.
There is a caroling session to area nursing homes and a lunch with Greg’s cousins that also are steadfast holiday events on our calendar. And among the traditions are events and parties that sometimes happen, depending on childcare or calendar space. Each year also brings new opportunities to celebrate and serve. This year, we get to travel to Dallas to meet my coming-soon nephew for the days between Christmas and New Year’s.
No holiday is perfect. And, truthfully, no tradition is perfect. Traditions matter because of the relationships strengthened, the memories made, and the people served. But they are still full of us imperfect people. And they’re subject to real life, of which we’re not actually in control anyway.
Traditions matter. Holidays matter. Families matter. But perfection in how we celebrate doesn’t. The only perfection that matters is this savior whose birth we’re singing about.
I’m linking up with Jill Savage for the monthly Hearts at Home Blog Hop. Come join us as we embrace imperfection. It’s been my theme this year and I’ve been encouraged greatly by Jill’s book “No More Perfect Moms.” Affiliate links included.
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