Tag Archives: celebrations

Un-traditional

10 May

I read that family traditions instill into your children your family values, strengthen family identity, connect generations, build great memories and make us stop in the bustle of the busy day to remember the important things in life.

We are not a family with traditions.

If someone asks me what our traditional “insert celebration here” looks like, I would be at a loss for words. Of course we celebrate the christian festivals for their christian meaning, and like typical kids growing up in a christian family, our children know the meaning of Christmas and Easter, details and all. But mention the word ‘tradition’ and my hair stands up in this fashion:

The reason I look like  a cat being electrocuted when I think of christian family traditions is probably because, while we do not have them, I have felt the peer pressure of having a craft ready for every occasion and an appropriate way to display it (the possibilities are endless). I have felt the fear that my kids are missing out, the fear that their creativity is not explored, their knowledge not expanded, their spiritual horizons narrowed. I panicked, I accused, I banned, ridiculed and begged (#how christians react to their insecurities)

I go through such a range of emotions because I allowed other mums (through their window shopping display) to dictate the standard of what my family should look like. The danger in comparing yourself to others is that there will always be someone ‘being more’ or ‘being less’. The comparison trap either leads to pride or despair. Personally, if I’m going to compare our “christianness” according to the activities other families do (be it crafts, songs, meals, dances or treasure hunts), then I can not measure up. Not only do I not have the creative energy for it, but I also lack the inclination for it – I couldn’t be bothered to be bothered.

So why do I have sweaty palms just thinking about December and April? The truth is that, if I’m being led by my emotions (and particularly fear), then my motives are wrong. I do not want to do anything out of fear, but rather out of conviction. If I am convicted that my kids are going to be worse off without the baking of the resurrection cookies, then I must do it. If I am convicted that receiving gifts for Christmas will take them further away from knowing Jesus, I must take the presents away.

So I calmed down.

Under the regular and rightful reminder of my husband that we resist peer pressure and submit to God’s Word only, and with the reassurance from older friends with godly grown up kids, I slowly realize that we are the family that we are, not carefully planning out the craft for Christmas, but being intentional in loving the Lord just as faithfully. Isn’t that enough?

We don’t do crafts together for Easter and we don’t bake together for Christmas. But together, among other things and in different ways, we love Jesus, we serve Him, we talk to Him and about Him. Together we fail Him and apologize to Him. And if these are the only precious memories that my kids will treasure one day, I will consider it a priceless blessing.

We are un-traditional and I make peace with it.

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