By: Tim Sader
I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. (1 Corinthians 11:2)
Near the end of a very busy year for our families we had one more special event to celebrate when Sammy’s twin sister Amanda married Alicia. It is good for us to celebrate with people in our lives and for us to rejoice in the Lord for everything He has done. One of the best and easiest times for us to celebrate is during special holidays. Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for the abundance we experienced throughout the year. During Christmas we remember the birth of our Lord and show our love and gratitude to others by giving and receiving gifts. We learn many valuable lessons about caring and being grateful when we participate in holidays and remember their true meaning. Sammy and I had celebrated these holidays together the previous year after but we still were long distant so the magic lasted only until we had to be apart again. This year was the first of these holidays for us together as husband and wife. Thanksgiving seemed to be very similar to the one before it except we got to wake up together and offer first wishes and tell why we were thankful for one another. We turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while we got ready for the day at Sammy’s dad’s house. Along with other family members we had many of the favorites they have enjoyed each year at the holidays. Some of these flavors were new to mom and me the first time we tried them but now we expected these dishes and they are still delicious. I think this year we were all able to go outside because it was very warm. It was fun watching the family play kick ball and mess around outside for a while. A while later we left so that people could get ready for early black Friday shopping. The next first holiday we spent together as a married couple was Christmas, the birthday of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. The previous year we started learning to feel joy again because we had a new joy to replace the sadness of missing loved one. This year we started to combine our traditions. This started a day or two after Thanksgiving when her dad and Darlene showed up at our door with a new pre lit tree and purple Christmas balls to decorate it with. The next day Sammy’s sister brought a box of miniature Christmas village decorations from their mom that they divided. We hadn’t had a Christmas tree up since my brother passed so inheriting her traditions was an improvement.
On the night before Christmas Eve we go to an evening service at our church so we can do Christmas Eve with the nephews. We have drinks snacks and cookies that night. When we went back home I think we opened one gift each before going to bed. Sammy is used to getting up early to open presents and then have Christmas breakfast. Anyone who knows me will say I don’t do early mornings so I got up as early as I could so we could open gifts before going to spend the day with family at her dads. When we got there we ate a similar meal to Thanksgiving with ham for meat instead of turkey. After that we open up the living-room full of gifts and enjoy the smiles on each others faces. It was another warm day for Christmas so we gathered outside awhile and played yard games while the kids ran around. Our first Christmas somehow we had money to get everyone we bought for a really nice gift and that was a great feeling. We received some very nice gifts that year but I really enjoyed giving good gifts to all my loved ones. It is so much better to give to others than it is for us to receive (Acts 20:35). I used to feel like holidays were more about greed and selfishness than anything. Now I feel they are about whatever traditions we learned and what we pass on to next generations. If we make the Lord part of our holiday traditions and teach others about them we are remembering it’s all about praising Him. We may not follow the tradition of Jewish festivals but what will we do to make our holiday traditions about the Lord (Hos 9:5)? Sammy and I enjoy giving and receiving gifts but most of all we want to include the Lord in whatever traditions we set up in our marriage.
Lord as we approach the fall season I ask that we make our holiday traditions more about you and less about the business. When we pass on our traditions to others help them to see more of you in them than any else. Also help us to focus more on giving to other than we would on receiving anything from anyone. We ask that our blessings would come from you as we give out of our blessings so we can be a blessing. In Jesus Name, Amen
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16