"Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation." (NIV) Joel 1:3
A couple of weeks ago, our oldest daughter, Sarah, wanted to learn how to make pierogi. WOW - I hadn't made that childhood favorite for a long time. I found the old Slovak cookbook and we headed into the journey of dough, filling, and fun. It certainly reminded me of the times when I worked with my grandmother making these delicious yummies. When I was little, I actually used to stand on a chair just to be able to reach the counter to help. Traditions and memories, how they go hand in hand.
These days, we spend much time working on crafting moments that represent "me" and "I". Many times, we don't necessarily want to go back to childhood traditions, but to create our own traditions. That can be fun and certainly it's neat to build our own traditions to give to our children. Yet, think about how hard our parents and grandparents worked to instill certain behaviors and values with us. If we think back, I'm sure we can understand that some of those very important traditions live deep inside us. What we want for our children, our prior generations wanted for us.
Especially around the holidays, traditions tend to come to life. They can be focused on 'Turkey Day' and all the fun things surrounded about the day of thanks. As you are reading, maybe you are remembering traditions that occurred during Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, etc. You may not even realize why you do things a certain way. It could be as simple as "that is how my family has always done it". Finding out the 'why' behind traditions can be fun and humbling. It helps us to understand our past generations.
The greatest tradition we can give our children is sharing the gift of our faith in Jesus. By finding ways to share our faith, telling our children, creating memories and traditions focused around the greatest gift God gave us, these traditions live in our children's hearts. The Bible is filled with so many opportunities to see where traditions have been passed down from generation to generation. Maybe you have been blessed to receive a tradition that was passed down by your parents and grandparents that focuses around our dear Savior. Make sure you take the time to tell your children why you celebrate that tradition - and even encourage them to share it with their children.
Life can take us in so many different directions that it can seem hard to feel grounded. Traditions help us do that - to feel grounded in our past and know that our future generations will enjoy them as well. Spread the word, spread the joy, and let the traditions of the past take your children into the future.
"Dearest Father, thank you for the traditions you have given us from our past generations. As we look to create traditions for our children, may they always include the most precious gift we have been given, your son Jesus."