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Traditions - what would we do without them? For some, tradition might come in the form of a call to a loved one on Thanksgiving Day, and for others in the form of a week-long labor of love resulting in a fantastic meal. The benefits that come from keeping certain traditions call to us from deep within. God, as our Creator, understood this well. Just consider His request that we celebrate Him in feast and worship! The great God of the universe certainly doesn't need our attention. However, He does assert that we, in our humanness, need to carve out moments in which we reflect and recognize His great providence, goodness, and incredible love; not for His sake, but for ours.
The benefits that extend from traditions aren't bound to only those involving worship and praise, of course. Even those traditions not nessarily associated with spiritual promptings provide many benefits that beautifully build up the family and community.
This year, with our oldest daughter home on college break for Thanksgiving, we decided to rake in these benefits as much as possible by incorporating a pretty insane amount of traditions in 4 days.
Beginning, of course, with the beautiful sharing of fellowship and turkey at two different meals, our tradition marathon continued with the annual Black Friday Expedition, a tradition reserved for just the kids and their dad. Rising at 5:30 am, they ventured out to our closest malls (which aren't too close as the nearest one is 40 minutes away...). Bringing few things home afterwards was besides the point to these 4 kids who only cared about the nine hours of special quality time spent eating donuts, picking out their "Giving Tree" gifts, window shopping and listening to Christmas music with Dad before the sun peaked on the horizon.
The traditions continued with hunting for and cutting down our Christmas tree, celebrating their dad's birthday, celebrating the Feast of Christ the King, watching White Christmas, decorating the tree and setting up the Christmas train. Little traditions like eating Thanksgiving leftovers were peppered throughout the long weekend, which included a new tradition of attending a luncheon/ornament exchange at the home of one of the most generous friends I know.
Though a whirlwind of excitement that left us breathless by Sunday night, our tradition marathon gifted us with myriads of memories to savor. Memories are some of the beautiful and most captivating reasons to keep traditions, and tend to be the hallmark of most holiday seasons.
As we look forward to the many traditions that await us during the upcoming season of Advent, let's remember to reflect upon not only the One Who grants us these gifts of time, but the reason these gifts have been granted.
May we ultimately rake in the benefits from all of the traditions that build us up as members of the Body of Christ! :)
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Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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