Remember the song, Tradition! from the movie, Fiddler On the Roof? As the plot progresses, the father, Tevye, who wants to maintain the traditions of his Jewish culture, finds circumstances and people pulling him further and further away from them. It’s difficult when this happens. Throughout the story, Tevye adjusts to changes that are not always welcome or comfortable.
What’s your favorite Christmas tradition? When our children were at home we would always play a recording of “The Nutcracker Suite” while we decorated the tree. Our girls still remember this. As a family, we went together to see the play, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at a local church. We always watched the George C. Scott version of the Christmas Carol on TV (when we visited our younger daughter over Thanksgiving, she insisted we do this). We spent Christmas Eve with one side of the family and Christmas Day with the other. Now our children are grown and these traditions have been replaced. We go to church for Christmas Eve Service; we have a big family party with all of our brothers and sisters; we visit my mom at her nursing home.
Every family and every church, even groups within the church have their Christmas traditions. Our traditions often include decorating, partying, giving gifts, singing particular songs, eating certain foods. Traditions make the celebration meaningful. It’s good to connect with the past. However, we need to make sure we are not turning our traditions into idols. The focus of Christmas and the object of our worship should be our Savior Jesus, not the trimmings we humans like to add on. Traditions will change; Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.