In high school I enjoyed playing the part of Golde in the musical production “Fiddler On The Roof”. Maybe it was the song ‘Tradition” that stuck in my soul, or maybe it was watching my aunt establish beautiful holiday traditions with her family that impacted me; but as a young mother I knew that I wanted to pass on a legacy of family tradition to my children.
I really didn’t know where to begin so I went back to my roots; what had been ‘traditional’ for us growing up. The only thing I could remember was my grandmother’s baking. She baked and baked for a month, storing all the goodies in Tupperware on her back porch.
As a young determined mother I picked up the phone and made a plan to visit grandma for a few days to learn the tricks of the trade. I was taught how to read a candy thermometer, how to tell soft-ball vs. hard-ball stage by using cold water, even the importance of weather to some of the more sensitive candies. And thus began one of our family’s favorite holiday traditions. Even now, as we gather home for the holidays, we set aside time to enjoy the tradition of baking together.
The year after my husband left, I was ready to throw out all of the traditions I had so diligently worked to build into the legacy of our home. We opted for a very untraditional Christmas; traveling to the beach. My plan was to FORGET the painful past and pack it all away, however, I soon realized the value of tradition to my children and to us all in the healing process. They needed stability, they needed something they could count on, and to celebrate. Our family traditions that had begun years before were important to them.
I learned something very important that year that God already knew. Tradition is an important part of the restoration journey for us all. Whether we build new traditions (which I have since done) or hold on to the old they give a sense of belonging. My children felt they belonged to something bigger by keeping our traditions, in the midst of the pain of a broken marriage we were able to hold on to some element of family; it was good and healing.
God ordained feasts and traditional celebration into the very fiber of the nation He set apart.
- Every week the nation is called to “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy”
- Every year Passover is celebrated in homes of Orthodox and Messianic Jews to remember the deliverance of God by the blood of the Lamb
- Even now the Fall Feasts are being celebrated by the blowing of the trumpet, repenting and building Sukkoths in remembrance of the journey through the dessert and living in ‘booths’.
These celebrations have been vital in holding the nation together even though they have been dispersed time and time again. God knows children (His children) need set apart times to remember who He is and what He has done, who they/we are, and to celebrate deliverance, harvest, the new year, etc. If God so ordained these traditions, maybe it would be good for us as families to see what traditions we can build into our family units for the sake of the children.
On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation. Exodus 12:42
Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. Zechariah 14:16
Traditions don’t have to be big or cost a lot of money. Some of the simple things we have established include (notice the word TOGETHER in these traditions.)
- Decorating the tree TOGETHER. Each of my children have a box of ornaments I have collected over the years, As they get married they take the ornaments with them to begin the tradition of decorating the tree with their new family.
- Watching the same movie TOGETHER. Ours is “The Sound of Music”! It’s the only time I can get my kids to watch it with me!
- Baking TOGETHER. This can be simple store bought sugar cookies…make sure to icing them and add sprinkles for FUN.
- Driving to see Christmas lights TOGETHER. Don’t forget to turn the radio on to Christmas music.
- Reading at night with your children. We had Christmas books that came out at Thanksgiving and would spend each night reading one book or a chapter together. You can pick up books at the library and usually keep all month!
This is a great time to think about holiday traditions for your family. What are some ways you have established traditions into your family? If you have not done this, it’s never too late to begin. The Father of Lights knows your family, ask Him for one or two simple ideas to begin developing in your family this year and HAVE FUN!
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing son-in-laws (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MO