When I was telling my almost 30-year-old daughter about this, she thought I was crazy. She said, ‘Dad, just have Christmas Eve!” Coming from her I thought a bit harder about why we are doing things this way. I don’t have a really good answer except to say I never really thought of doing it differently.
This time before Christmas has a significance all it’s own. It is a time when each one of us has something we do because we really never thought to do it differently. There is value in tradition. Tradition connects us to those who have come before us. Tradition also grounds us in the present. Some traditions give us perspective.
Yesterday I was looking at Facebook, and my brother Mark’s Facebook post popped up. His yard, his house, anything that isn’t moving, is completely covered for Christmas. He has all kinds of those blow up Christmas decorations. I’m not kidding; there are at least a dozen of them. There are so many lights outside his house that my other brother Kevin says, Lost aircraft can now calibrate their location once again...Another guy who must work for the city commented, I was wondering why the generator kicked on at work.
My brother Mark does this every year. It is to the point now that it’s almost like he has to do it or people begin asking what is wrong with him. A lot of us were worried the year when he was fighting prostate cancer. We worried that he would only be able to manage a reindeer or two and a few string of lights. But even cancer couldn’t keep him down. Mark did more than usual that year, not less.
This warm weather, the 24-hour news cycle and the general angst of this entire last year are not helping me get into anything like a Christmas spirit. When I get in this mood, I’m glad that there are some traditions that can carry on for me. And although I have to admit my brother’s ornamental extravaganza does not really do it for me in the same way it does for him, knowing that I’ll have four Sundays to worship before Christmas helps.
Keep the Faith,