by Gloria Copeland
For many people, family traditions are a cherished part of the Christmas season. Whether it be attending a candlelight Christmas Eve service, driving around town to look at the sparkling light displays, or gathering around the fireplace to read about the birth of Christ—traditions give everyone something to look forward to each year.
A tradition is simply a custom passed from one generation to the next, linking a family together and creating a lasting bond. Its sole purpose should be to draw your family together in unity and create lasting memories. Even if you’ve initiated new traditions in your family, your children and grandchildren will likely continue them for years to come.
The Most Important Tradition
There is nothing more important than passing down the tradition of faith. The greatest legacy you can leave is of a family that honors the Lord in everything they say and do. That tradition comes by training your children and modeling for them a life that is pleasing to God.
If this was not lived out before you as a child, you have the honor and privilege of being the one to establish this tradition in your family. When you teach and train your children and grandchildren in His Word and His ways, you are creating a family custom of living in victory!
Everything in Its Place
You’ve heard the saying, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Well, that’s true of our traditions, too. It’s fun to have things we know we can expect at Christmas, and other times, and God loves for us to enjoy ourselves. But, we need to make sure that we keep traditions in the proper place.
Jesus spoke of displeasure with placing customs and traditions above following Him. In Matthew 15:3, NIV, Jesus said, “Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?”
If we get into a habit of doing or saying things because “we’ve always done it this way,” we may miss what God has to say about it. For example, perhaps your family watches a certain Christmas movie every year, but God is nudging at you and signaling that the content isn’t what He’d like you to be putting into your eyes and ears. Time for a new tradition! Don’t be hesitant to replace those customs that are not pleasing to the Lord.
Traditions and Food
This Christmas, I’d like to invite you to join my family in one of our favorite family traditions—food! Many of our family traditions at Christmas involve old family recipes. I’ve always loved cooking. I learned from my mother. She taught many members of our family how to cook, and we’ve created a great tradition of food and fellowship over the years.
This year, I went digging through my old cookbook that I put together years ago and found some of my favorite recipes. I’d like to share those with you and your family, and I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we have over the years. Many, like my recipe for John’s Jell-O, have been a staple at our Christmas dinner table for years. This is one I think everyone should have in their life!
For this recipe, and many others, please visit my recipe page.
From our family to yours, wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Dare to Shine His Light on Traditions This Christmas!
- Are you carrying on the most important tradition of teaching your children and grandchildren how to live for the Lord? If not, ask God how you can begin training them today.
- Evaluate your family traditions and determine if any should be eliminated because they are outside of God’s best for your family.
- Seek the Lord for new family traditions, and choose one or two to begin this Christmas.
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