There is the traditional Christmas program that we all must attend. We sit in the darkened church, watching the little children recite the lines that they so laboriously memorized with the help of their moms. Sympathetically, everyone in the crowd silently prompts these shy performers as they try to remember the next word. Throughout the hushed audience, unspeaking lips move, hoping that their silent utterances will somehow help this tender little one through his or her piece.
Of course, not all the children are so inhibited. Some kids grab the microphone as if they grew up under the tutelage of Sir Winston Churchill himself, and bellow out their lines as if they had just learned that everyone in the church had discovered that their hearing aid batteries had gone dead. Then, as a final flourish, these little performers finish with a grand bow.
We sing the traditional hymns. We snack on traditional munchies. We find great comfort in tradition.
Not everyone who likes tradition, however. They find it boring and unimaginative. Some secretly delight in upsetting tradition. Some find excitement in the new and unique.
Each has his own perspective. I, myself grew up with many traditions at Christmas time. Our Christmas Eve Day was the very definition of predictability. It included the Christmas Eve program at the little church down the road that we always attended after the evening chores. After the program, we would always stop in at my Grandpa’s and Grandma’s house for a few moments. I am sure it was only a few moments, but for me, it always seemed like hours. This was because, according the traditions of our family, it was only after the program and the visit to the grandparents that we were able to go home and finally open our presents.
But my adult years have been quite different. For many of these years my own family and I lived overseas and often found it more difficult to have one Christmas even remotely like the previous one. (to continue, please press the READ MORE button below)