I have to admit that I feel some kind of obligation to write something about the holidays. Isn’t that expected? And there’s the added pressure that it’s been some time since I’ve posted anything and people most likely have forgotten that I am trying to write, that is, trying to write more. Because I’m not writing more. But should. Actually I would like to. There are many things I would like to write about; however, I do remind myself that once it’s written and published on the internet, there’s no way to delete it. Sure I can edit it and change it but someone may have already read the original. So, of course, I want to be careful.
So I’m back to the premise that I should be writing about the holidays because Christmas is now passed and New Year’s is coming. The problem is I’m not sure what to write about.
I already have two drafts of posts I had begun and now I’m starting the third because I don’t know which direction or theme to follow.
And so I’m writing a bit aimlessly because, well, maybe because that’s where I’m at in terms of reflecting upon the holidays. I have many random thoughts and not just one main idea.
This is my second Christmas back in the USA after returning from China last year. So that makes it a full calendar year I’ve been in the USA. Not counting a couple of days across the northern border to visit relatives in Canada, I’ve been in the USA (actually I could say North America) for one whole YEAR. That sounds incredibly long. And a lot has happened. Maybe that’s something to write about another time.
So my holiday reflections? My traditions?
I’m somewhat more in the holiday spirit– I have more Christmas decorations around and have attended and been involved with more Christmas events. I have no Christmas tree again this year but am using a fun hand-crafted imported coppery tree I had bought on sale this summer. I’ve put ornaments on it and around it, actually ornaments from various countries, next to my Chinese nativity set which sits on top of my Norwegian poinsettia table-cloth. It’s my Christmas celebration with international characteristics.
Yet it seems like I’m still figuring out my own traditions and maybe every year it will be different. For many years I have tried to follow the tradition of lighting candles for each Advent Sunday. I did not grow up with this ritual nor does the church I attend follow this practice, but the time of reflection and the candles I have seen lit in international settings over the decades have become meaningful to me.
Last year I visited my mother on Christmas Day. I had hoped that would have become a yearly tradition.
This year she’s in heaven.
Christmas Day this year I visited my sister at her home and then went to my brother’s family for the rest of the day.
Next year I don’t know if I’ll be going to the same places and seeing the same people.
This month I’m enjoying immensely the above average temperatures with 70 degree weather and green grass and even flowers that are still blooming and spring flowers peeking out. A green Christmas.
Next year, who knows…we could have a foot of snow this time of year.
Again… reflections, ramblings, hanging on to traditions and memories, but realizing I’m still forming new traditions or celebrations of these holidays.
I know I don’t want to be jealous of those who have awesome traditions involving family, relatives, outings, trips, concerts, outreaches, shopping and gift exchange or become bitter over memories gone than can never be relived.
Yet I want to have a heart that is always opened to listen and learn from the One who became a Babe– Immanuel, God with Us, who humbled himself, who lived and gave His life for me, for us….
A heart, a life that regardless of traditions, circumstances, weather, or holiday is humbled and honored to serve Him–Jesus, the Messiah, the Incarnate One.
That’s what I’m reflecting upon this season… and trusting THAT tradition will never change.