Why I Love an Old Fashioned Christmas

1435391_49019940On Sunday we shared a lot about the traditions surrounding Christmas. Or if the word tradition bothers you – think instead of rhythms that surround Christmas. Because traditions are funny things, they are rooted in the past, but they actually preserve the future. That’s what they do.

Traditions are things that grow, that hold faith and family together. And without them family and faith can slip away or fade away.

This is something that I’m beginning to realize more and more. That traditions create memories, they are containers that hold meaning, and draw family together and pass along faith.

So on Sunday I shared some of the traditions that are part of my family.

Watching National Lampoons every year

  • Decorating the tree
  • Going to Christmas Eve services
  • Praying before gifts
  • Reading the Christmas story
  • And many more

The point is that the traditions – or rhythms – ground my family and my faith. They ensure that I remember that something important is happening and someone important is coming.

So we closed Sunday with giving a simple challenge: what is one tradition you want to start this year, and one tradition you want to keep and really invest in.

And I know in one sense all this talk about tradition makes me old fashioned. But that’s okay, because what really matters to me isn’t being cool and new. What really matters is my family growing closer, being pointed towards Jesus, and having memories that last, linger, and shape them.



Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Creating and keeping traditions matter.

Teaching Points:

  • The stories are the point
  • That traditions are often the cradle and the keeper of faith.
  • Creating and keeping traditions matter
  • Traditions hold family and faith together

Adult Discussion Questions:

What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? What was funny? What are some of the traditions your family kept growing up? What are some of your favourite memories? Why do you think traditions might be important? What are some traditions you keep in your family? What are some you might want to start? How can tradition help to pass along faith, and hold family together?

Discussion Questions for Young Families

Talk to your kids about some of your favourite traditions. Then ask them, “What traditions should we have around Christmas?” Why not invite them into the discussion and take up their ideas. Sundaes on Christmas Eve? Why not. Wake up before the sun on Christmas day? Sure. Talk to them and develop some traditions.

Challenge for the Week: What traditions do you want to start, and keep?

Traditions, Turkey, and Tree’s

1435915_59713170This Sunday is our annual Christmas meal at the church. So if you’re in the area and want some turkey, come on by and join us.

But this is one of the things that I love most about Christmas. I love how there are traditions that we do every year. That there are reminders that Christmas is coming, that there are markers that point to Jesus, that there are memories that go back decades.

For me, one of the memories I have is watching the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas each and every year. It was my dad’s favourite movie, and every year we’d watch it together.

But what about you? What makes Christmas – Christmas for you?

Because traditions matter, memories matter, and markers matter.

So that’s what we are going to be talking a little bit about on Sunday before we eat lots of turkey. But before we get there, why not think through what traditions matter to you. Because the funny thing about traditions is they root us in the past, but point us forward to the future. And that’s what we’ll explore on Sunday.

Christmas Eve and Traditions…

There sometimes seems to be a negativity towards tradition. That tradition is old, irrelevant, and outdated. This is surely the case sometimes, but I don’t think it is the case during this time of Christmas.

Tonight I’ll be running my first Christmas Eve service at 7:00 at the church. And I am so looking forward to it. I love the carols, lighting the candles, hearing the story, and the tradition of it. The tradition surrounding the Christmas Eve service doesn’t make it feel old and irrelevant to me but deep and rooted. I feel a part of something centuries old and meaningful. And tonight is extra meaningful for me because of tradition.

For all my life I would go to a Christmas Eve service and hear my dad and mom lead it together. And they used the same structure for almost 25 years.There were always new pieces but there were familiar parts and traditions within it. And tonight I get to carry that tradition on. After my dad passing, this is what I missed around this season. But tonight Krista and I get to carry on the tradition leading our first Christmas Eve service, and even using his service.

Those are the best traditions. The ones that have deep meaning, that make you feel a part of something, that generate beautiful memories, and are things you look forward to. And isn’t that what Christmas is about? Having beautiful traditions that create memories, meaning, depth, and hope?

My challenge to you is this: start a tradition. Start something that will give meaning to this time of the year each year. Start something that will give depth and create great memories. Start something you can pass onto your kids, grandkids, or family. Maybe its going to a Christmas Eve service, sharing stories, creating something as a family, or any other number of things. But this is the year to start a good tradition.

But for me I won’t be starting a new tradition…but carrying on an old one.

Leading a Christmas Eve service just like my dad would…