I LOVE TRADITIONS. And I made sure to push them on my family from day one. If we did something once, I have always been sure to remind everyone that it has to happen the next year. For example, every Christmas eve we go to the 5:00 pm Christmas Eve service, then eat dinner at Waffle House, then drive around and look at Christmas lights, then go home at take a family picture on the couch before we open one present a piece and head to bed. Just. Like. Clockwork.
This year, life threw a tradition curve ball at me: a very good one! I’ve got a husband to throw in the mix now. That being said, Austin is trying to understand my obsession of traditions by having us put our own spin upon them. Instead of only creating our own physical traditions, he wants us to create a Christmas day lifestyle that fosters continued sanctification and a heart that yearns for Jesus more than gifts or even family. Our day, our season, should be filled with these things above our Waffle House Visits and Christmas morning sausage balls. I can’t wait to start these new traditions with my man!
- Focus our day on Jesus. This year we have it easy: Christmas is on a Sunday! We can physically take time out of our tradition filled day to demonstrate that worshiping His name has to be first and foremost. Other years will call for us to purposefully determine how to break away from the gain to remember what Jesus lost to provide us the most important gift of all time.
- Thank Him before gifts. This is something neither of us have ever done, but we are excited to do this year. Austin and I walked down the aisle to the lyrics, “I’ll fix my eyes on you, the founder and the finisher of our faith,” and vowed to do so in all things. Before we open gifts on Christmas morning, we have to set our eyes upon the one who founded our faith, who we celebrate this day for. This prayer should be one that thanks Him not only for the physical blessings we hold here but the life He provided us and the hope we hold because of His sacrifice.
- Be reminded of how to rejoice. After we pray, we are going to read the ultimate prayer of rejoicing: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation….” In a previous post about this passage, I write that I am reminded of God’s sustaining love through Mary’s sweet prayers and her confidence to worship in times of uncertainty. If she can have that confidence, how can I not do the same on a much smaller scale during this day? A day that tempts me to focus solely on myself.
- Unplug and love on the fam. *Someone hold me accountable to this.* I promise to put my phone down and focus solely on those who are surrounding me for at least one hour every day until Christmas. Try it with me! There’s no better time than now when we have so many people around to distract us from all our technology. Jesus put the people around us in our lives for a reason. Whether it is to learn from them or to share the Gospel with them, let’s use this time to further God’s kingdom through our people.
- Reach out to someone who hurt us. Part of this day–well, all of this day–celebrates a Savior who forgave us before we could even ask for it. To reach out and tell someone that we love them without any kind of stipulation is one of the ways we can demonstrate this love. I don’t mean saying, “I love you even though…” or “I forgive you even though…” It is simply saying I love you. I forgive you. I will not harbor resentment. I do not deserve to be forgiven by Jesus. I want to love on people whether or not it is easy.
If you have other ideas, comment on this post! We would love to hear what everyone else is doing to fill their seasons with His joy!