By Vicki Spicher
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6: 7
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and family often brings our thoughts to traditions. As my family, with my brothers and their wives, gathered for Thanksgiving, meal planning became a topic of conversation. For one sister-in-law Thanksgiving included sweet potatoes with marshmallows, for another green bean casserole; neither of these were our family’s traditional fair, but there were other items that we were just as insistent that “it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving” without.
This year I am spending Christmas with friends that I have never stayed with before. Pre-visit discussions have been, “What do you do for Christmas?” We ask each other, “Do you: read the Christmas story?; decorate?; drive around and look at lights?; have Christmas breakfast?”
My son turned twenty-one and as he has his own home he will have some new traditions that he will start but surely there will be old ones he will keep. As I think of traditions that I have passed onto him, I also began to think of values and other non-tangible things I have taught him. What is the “tradition” in our home of handling disappointments? Anger? Making decisions? Have I passed onto him the right ones?
Traditions are like gifts that we allow others to share. We’ve been given some promises so that we might be partakers of a divine nature:
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” II Peter 1: 4-8
When my son looks back at the things he remembers most, will he be able to say, “In our home there was diligence, faith, patience, godliness, charity…?” These “traditions” are far more important than ones of specialty foods and activities. What traditions are in your home?