The last few Instagram posts I’ve made have been all about Christmas traditions my family has. Going to a candlelight Church service on Christmas Eve. Singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus before we open gifts on Christmas morning. We have more… The “Tree Trim” party at my grandmother’s house with literally my entire family (60 people and all). Opening presents with my mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. Advent Calendars, Christmas Cards, special ornaments on the tree that only I can hang. These are all special, but the last great tradition we have for the holiday season is quite possibly the most important. Every year, my parents and I eat a steak dinner (I have vegetarian chicken). We have a red and green plaid tablecloth and green napkins that we use over and over. We use wine glasses with an evergreen winter scene painted on them for our drinks. My father always gets a rare-and-red T-bone steak paired with Coke out of a glass bottle. There’s broccoli with cheese sauce, potatoes, and Texas Toast.
This year, I’m engaged to be married. If all goes as planned, by the end of next December I’ll be finished with school. Lots is going to change in 2018, and this Christmas may be the last year of the old “normal.” And that’s a big deal. Because in my family, our traditions are repeated and executed in the same way every year. They are engraved into our lives like decorative grooves in a family heirloom. That is why this year is so bittersweet for me. I can’t wait to be married and to share a household with my husband. God has a plan for us, and it was definitely different that I always thought it would be. I wasn’t planning on entering the adult world this abruptly, but I wouldn’t change a thing. However, this big and happy change has a lot of growing pains. The fact that I may or may not wake up in my childhood home next Christmas is one of them.
Just like life, our traditions are never Currier and Ives perfect. As you can see in the pictures of our Christmas table, the tablecloth is wrinkled. There’s butter in the form of Country Crock margarine. It is, however, ours. And therefore, it is sacred. Just as sacred at the Savior that we celebrate on this day, who we sing to first thing in the morning. With all the changes this coming year will bring, I’m putting a lot of trust in Him to guide us to next December. But I’m not worried. I have faith, because His love is just as constant and engraved into our lives as our family traditions that carry us from year to year.
Great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 5:23