I have this thing for tradition. I own no less than five books on ideas for creating family rituals. From our holidays and vacations to our everyday routines, my husband and I have built some pretty amazing family traditions.
Each Christmas season, we go to the Candlelight Tour at Mount Vernon.
We all make a wish as we toss a penny into the fountain before we leave the hotel at the end of our vacations.
We pray for Dilu, the sweet child we sponsor through World Vision, as a family, at every meal.
My longing for tradition isn’t born of purely of nostalgia, though admittedly there is some in the mix. No, I love ritual because of the continuity it provides with the heart of our family – Love. Our traditions are an anchor. The winds of change may blow all around us, but one thing doesn’t change. We are a family of deep love.
On Christmas Day, 11 years ago, Derek and I decided to chuck our plans for a big fall wedding the following year, and use the 12 days of Christmas to plan a wedding. (I wasn’t pregnant, as everyone suspected, though we did have big plans.)
As much as I love tradition, I wasn’t attached to many of the typical bride’s ideas of the perfect wedding day. I didn’t have any attendants; my best friends were not even there. I didn’t walk down an isle. We never cut a wedding cake or had a first dance. There was no photographer.
In front of an amazing stone fireplace, next to a Christmas tree, we entered into a covenant. In the presence of our immediate family and God, we promised a forever love, only possible because of the birth of the baby we celebrate at Christmas. It was the perfect wedding, for us.
On our honeymoon, we purchased a customized “Just Married” ornament. As I was watching the artist write our names, I had a vision of a Christmas tree filled with anniversary ornaments. And so it was born, one of our first family traditions.
May several generations of our family sit, Christmas morning, under a tree filled with reminders of our great love.
Happy Anniversary, Derek. I love you always.
What are your favorite family traditions? I would love to hear!