The Nutcracker ballet holds a special place in our family. Many of the familiar music pieces were used in Susan and my wedding. Little did we know that our oldest would be a ballerina and perform in the Nutcracker for the past 8 years (see above picture for a glimpse!). You see, the ballet has become more than event, it has become a tradition in our household. It is something that brings us great joy as we reconnect over shared experiences.
While many people may look down on traditions as idolizing the past, in the best sense of the word, traditions are means by which we remember and remain connected.
On this Christmas Eve day, possibilities for traditions abound. Maybe its your favorite dish or place to shop that allows you to remember and reconnect. Perhaps it is Christmas carols sung over the radio or your favorite Hallmark sappy Christmas movie that does it for you. May I suggest one tradition that if it isn’t already part of your experience you make it one? Head to a local church tonight. Sing the carols, see the decorations, and hear the good news of a great joy which is for all people. The tradition of Christmas Eve services aligns us with God’s good intentions for us and witnesses to the world that we have not lost hope but rather wait patiently, expectantly, and diligently for the provider of hope. And if you don’t quite get it, don’t worry, none of us truly does if we are honest. Christmas is a mysterious time of celebrating God’s movement to be with us for all eternity. Simply go and enjoy the sights, sounds, wonders, and mystery. And it is my prayer that you will be reconnected to the Giver of Hope in a way that changes your outlook about yourself and your neighbors. That is the power of the tradition of Christmas Eve!