Kirsten M. Walker
Christmas Eve as we knew it is just that, as we knew it. Maybe you remember when it used to be at your Grandma’s or your Aunt and Uncle’s, then your Mom hosted, then you or one of your siblings, eventually it was bound to change. Relatives moved away, people died, marriages failed and cousins grew up and started families of their own. I’m okay with all that now, but for many years early in my marriage I tried to hold on to the past. I tried to keep all my traditions plus all of my husband’s then add in what our kids were starting to hold dear. It just wasn’t possible or practical and frankly, I was exhausted. My kids didn’t want fish or Swedish meatballs; they wanted beef tenderloin and Happy Birthday Jesus cake. They wanted to go to the early church service not the midnight candlelight service. They wanted to be home by their kids’ bedtimes on Christmas Eve and wake up in their own homes on Christmas morning. They all have in-laws now to spend time with too. Not all tradition is lost though. A bit of my Scandinavian heritage is included during the Christmas season, and a dash of my husband’s family’s southern influence and little by little some of my kid’s favorite things were added in as well. I’ve found that we’re making new traditions without forgetting that it’s the birth of Christ that binds us all together during this time. Even without all the other stuff, acknowledging Him and his gift of a Savior to us is what it’s all about and that’s a tradition I’ll keep for eternity.