I love my Advent/Christmas traditions. They’re what I look forward to throughout the year as much as anything else. For instance, tonight I visited Opryland Hotel with all the decorations and lights everywhere.
I’m a creature of habit, so I don’t feel like Christmas is complete without getting in my traditions, like egg nog or lasagna (on Christmas Eve). I have places I feel like I need to visit to really get into the spirit of the festive season, like Opryland Hotel and Cheekwood, where the decorations are sure to help purge any Scrooge-ness in me.
For me, traditions are a way of making memories while at the same time honoring the past and those loved ones who are no longer here. Hopefully, it’s not some kind of rote activity but something meaningful and memorable. I think of how God’s people had feasts throughout the year as a way of commemorating what God had done for them in the past. They were — just as we are now — a forgetful people, so they needed reminders of God’s faithfulness.
If you have a family, I encourage you to make your own traditions with just you and your family. They don’t have to be super elaborate and expensive, but they need to be something your kids will remember when they’ve grown up and can possibly carry on with their children one day.
It can be a place you visit or a meal you share or an activity. I always like the idea of reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 as a way of reinforcing what the season is really all about.
The point is that you need physical, tangible memories — not just memories that show up on social media. In the end, what will matter won’t be how much of an influencer you were on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Tiktok, but how much of a real difference you made with those people in your life.