Since the time we were “we” my husband has made up songs. Songs about the kids. Songs about politics. Songs for each sport my kid’s played. Silly songs. Songs we all love.
“How many of Dad’s songs can you remember?” I challenged as I pulled out a sheet of paper on that long Thanksgiving drive. One after another, the kids began to sing these Cowell silly songs.
I never really gave our silly songs much thought; I just assumed all family’s had them. That is until there was a time when we rarely sang the silly songs. I guess that is what made this past Thanksgiving so very precious to me. To be with my family; laughing, was a gift!
Think of your family. The things that make you unique. Do you eat certain foods on certain nights? Do you do the same things every birthday? Are there pet names that only family can use?
Those are the things that make family family. Those are the things that make family stick.
Here is what Dannah Gresh shared in her newsletter this month:
“Years ago when I began my quest to rescue the hearts of teen girls from sexual pain, I learned that parent-child connectedness — described best as having planned, repeated activities like dinners together and Christmas traditions — is an unexpected and powerful risk-reducer to teen sexual activity. Yep, I just drew the conclusion that Douglas the Talking Fir acts a bit like a chastity belt. How’s that work? It seems the family who makes Peppermint Bark Pancakes together has deeper conversations about values and personal life choices. That’s a fact! Big important folks in the field of psychology say so. Personally, I think that all the silliness and fun just opens our kid’s hearts up and that makes them talk about deeper things. You have to laugh together!
But a few years ago I read Treasuring God In Our Traditions by Noel Piper, and I realized that God likes traditions, too. And He desires to be at the center of them. Noel showed me how God built traditions into the lives of His people beginning in the Old Testament, and He still does today. Traditions like special religious feasts or setting up stones of remembrance at special places on the journey of life acted as a relational glue between God and His followers. As His people pressed in to them, they became closer to each other and closer to Him.
It made me want to be more intentional about putting God at the center of some of our family traditions. So this year we are adding a Gresh family tradition. Here it is: armed with a copy of Donna VanLiere’s brand newThe Christmas Journey, a short but passionate coffee table book that takes you into the stable on the night of Christ’s birth, we are heading out to our own teeny-tiny stable on our land. There with the animals smelling the place up, we are going to read this precious story and recount the suffering of Mary and Joseph on this night that we have anesthetized. I hope and believe it will be a tradition that anchors us to the Lord and His tremendous sacrific, and that we can enjoy it with our grand children in years that are coming so very quickly. Perhaps it is a tradition that you, too, could add to yourfamily fun this holiday season? If you don’t have your own stable, create one in the garage. (Perhaps put some cow ears on your dog. You can still be silly when you put Christ in the center. He’s the one who gave us our laughter!)
I encourage you strongly to look at your family traditions this holiday season. If you’re like us and you have more craze than Christ in the holidays, step back and add something new this year.”
What are some family traditions, Christmas and all year long, that are helping to bring your family together? Please share! Just click on “comments” below. Hopefully we’ll all discover some new ways to bring that parent-child connectedness into our family as well!