Do you emphasize traditions? Our family does. New Year's Eve is no exception. That being said, we are not always bound to December 31st as the day we celebrate New Year's Eve. Last year our New Year's Eve traditions happened on Christmas night and this year they were on December 28th. It is a long story, but if you have a large family like we do, then you probably understand that even the calendar must sometimes be changed. Though the calendar is rearranged the traditions remain. We have done that with birthdays, anniveraries and even the major holidays. In fact, this year we celebrated Christmas Day on Christmas Eve. Are you confused?
The thing about traditions is that we do the same things around the same time each year. In the Fall we go to the pumpkin farm and to Old Salem, North Carolina. In April we go to Nashville, TN. In August we go to Daytona Beach. We even stay at the same hotels most of the time. The family is really pushing me to change our Daytona hotel because...well it has not been updated in 125 years.
Enough said, maybe you get the picture. Today is New Year's Eve. We have already celebrated the event, but since you have not, here are a few of our New Year's Eve traditions. We...
1. Put together a menu that includes lots of unhealthy food. Chips and dip, sausage, various kinds of cheese, pizza, crackers, Oreo cookies are just some of the items that made the menu this year. We serve the food in the living room so that we can eat while we...
2. Watch "It's a Wonderful Life." I don't know how many times we have seen this classic movie. Once again, this year, someone said, "I think this time the movie was the best ever."
3. Serve sparkling grape juice at midnight when the ball drops. We actually try to reserve this event for December 31st (the actual New Year's Eve). This tradition will actually happen, God-willing, tonight.
4. Remember the Providence of God. New Year's Eve is a great time to look back over the year and remember God's providence and to thank Him for His kindness to us in the past months.
New Year's Eve is when we begin to close the door on our Christmas celebration and prepare to welcome the New Year.
Traditions are a great way to look back, look within and look forward. Our children will always remember the trips, the food, the activities that took place year after year with our family. I am certain that they will adapt many of our traditions to their own family situations.
It is certainly possible to make an idol of tradition just as one might make an idol of being non-traditional. Many people seem to be on a mission to tear down old traditions. Wise folks take a good look at traditions. Before throwing them away they ask a few good questions.
Traditions are not designed to strangle but to build community and to communicate stability. In a world where people run to every new thing, most families could use a good dose of healthy tradition.
Speaking of health...pass the chips and dip.
By the way...what are you doing on New Year's Eve?