Monday, December 19, 2011


Let's talk about Christmas traditions... I'll make a little list:

Putting out the needle-point nativity scene in the family room. Baby Jesus fits into Mary's belly and the angel doesn't stand by itself anywhere except on Mary's head (in the angel slot). When I was little I would act out the story and always fly the angel to the scene as the big finish... "And then the angel came back to join the party!" (plop into Mary's head).

And... that might be it.

What?! Well, our family does do a lot of the same Christmassy things every year. And to their credit, we put on a fab Christmas Day (sounds very commercial, but it's really not). But my point is this: we don't have many tangible traditions. You'll notice that even my nativity tradition was self-generated. I sometimes seem to be the only family member who cares to painstakingly keep traditions. {Sis just pointed out that I am blogging while they bake cookies though... so I'm red-handed too.} I'm the one who cried when my parents decided the tree should go in a different location one year. I beg my mom to read "The Night Before Christmas" every Christmas Eve, though she protests that I'm too old. I argue that it's for the benefit of all.

Ok, wow, my family is great. Magnificent. Don't mistake me there. But here's what I'm wondering: is it something about being a youngest child? Having a family that's a little more laid back in the tradition zone, my youngest child needs seem to really emerge at Christmas time. I need more hugs, I want more attention, (I count presents shhh)... I desperately care about keeping traditions. Does that fit? Maybe.

Whatever the case, I suppose I can look at it in a different way. Our family has a tradition of keeping Christmas flexible. There's joy and freedom in that. And Jesus is supposed to be (and is) the center anyways, so I guess flexible works. He brings the necessary structure that will never die.

I'm gonna go put up the needle point nativity and then join my family for whatever it is they're doing next.

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