If you ever want to have your mind-blown, or your own imaginative inner child reawakened, just come sit in on the brainstorming sessions our youth have before any of their annual youth-led events. This year’s initial brainstorming for the 11pm Christmas Eve Service was no exception. With everything from detailed descriptions of the tactile experience of holiday decorations to the karmic nature of Santa story, I, once again among these miraculous growing minds, was inspired to see something in a new way. Christmas morning, for me and for millions of others I would imagine, has been a particularly magical time. My understanding of that magic has certainly evolved as I’ve grown up, being revealed and wowing me in different ways throughout my own evolution. Up until last Christmas, this magical morning had the same set and stage for 25 out of the 25 years I had been alive. There was the same house, same bedroom, same brother, same parents, same fireplace, same gift placement, same schedule, same excitement. Last Christmas marked a large change for me. My sweet brother and his new fiancé had decided to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with her parents and then join my parents and I later on in the day.
While sitting amidst our youth as they gush about the beautiful, exciting traditions each of their families have, I reflected on the “still touchy” subject. I then immediately became flooded with the voices of people all over my life and family saying the phrase, “we used to…” when talking about the holidays. In that moment it dawned on me that surely for every tradition celebrated there is a tradition lost. And that just maybe in this past year, life had somehow initiated me into that truth. For surely if I had come to know this in only my now short 27 years of life, how much more do those who have lived longer and much longer than I know this. It would seem to me that remembering and recalling and naming traditions of old and past is just as much a part of the holiday season as celebrating fully the traditions of new and now. This holiday season, might we joyfully embrace all traditions; those here, those gone, and as always those different than ours.
During the season of Advent, daily meditations from members of the Pullen community are being posted online. Subscribe by email at www.pullen.org/category/meditation.