At the beginning of the Advent Season, realizing that the number of our family traditions and seasonal activities had reached a new high, I listed them all. Next, I surveyed the family members who are still a part of our household on a regular basis – in other words, whose who actually live here. I asked them to initial the traditions and activities that were important to them. If their initials were beside it, then it was, presumably, important enough for them to help out with it
The list ranged from having a Christmas Tree (very important) to making a gingerbread house (decided to do after Christmas), to putting evergreen boughs in the window boxes (I chose to do that)
Some things that will go by the wayside this year – time and energy helped make those decisions, but the traditions that stay, help us focus on the birth of our Savior, the love of family, and sharing with those around us. We may not make it to LaSallette Shrine in Enfield to see the lights, but we will have our own lights and nativity to remind us of the Light of the World.
The chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil in our Christmas stockings will reminded us of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra who threw gold coins down chimneys to be used as a dowry for the young women of the family, thus saving them from a questionable future.
Small traditions may mean a lot, but too many traditions can mean stress and loss of focus. May we all use our Christmas activities and traditions to help us focus on the Coming of Jesus in our midst, and the resulting Joy to the World!