It’s that time of year again. Lights are twinkling all over town. The smell of Christmas cookies is filling homes. Elf and The Santa Clause are being played on TVs all over the country. More than any other time of year, the Christmas season has a multitude of traditions attached to it. They vary from family to family, but everyone has something, or lots of somethings, that they do every year to celebrate and remember Christmas.
Traditions are surviving, even this year, when so many things are different — everyone is wearing a mask, no one can sit on Santa’s lap, businesses are closed. In fact, traditions seem to be more prevalent than ever, especially this year.
But why is that? What is it that brings us back to the same things year after year?
I think it’s because tradition causes us to remember. To remember the goodness of life, the importance of family, the sacredness of the Christmas season.
In the Bible, they had traditions also. Typically, non-denominational Christians don’t operate on the liturgical calendar, but it’s full of Holy Days that God’s people have celebrated for centuries, all the way back to the Israelites in the Old Testament. God put different Holy Days in place, days like Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles or The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). These Holy Days are usually celebrated by those in the Jewish faith, but if you look at it closely, these days are traditions. Traditions set by God in order to remember Him.
In Exodus 13, Moses says to the Israelites when talking about Passover, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place.” God put Passover in place to remind the Israelites of what He had done for them.
Even though most of us don’t celebrate these Old Testament Holy Days, our holidays and traditions should also point us back to what God has done. The people God has put in our lives, the ways He has shown up for us, the grace, forgiveness, and salvation His death on the cross provides for us.
Now, I’m not advocating for throwing out non-religious Christmas movies or the sugary Christmas treats that tend to be our traditions. But when we partake in these celebrations and traditions, let it turn your heart towards the God who gave you these good things and these good people to do life with. Let it bring you to gratitude. This year, let your traditions bring joy, unity, and the love of Christ to everyone involved.