Wednesday, December 15, 2010



Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
December 15, 2010

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, -- Galatians 5:22 NIV

One definition for tradition is, “a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation”. I think of it as a circle of love. It goes round and round to warm and comfort a family in their own specialness.

It is the time of year to finalize those holiday plans and bring to life those childhood traditions again. This year our family won’t get to see everyone all at once as we have in the past. That has been our tradition in previous years, but we will have to revise it this year. We have been fortunate to be together so often over the years that we must celebrate that instead. It is the traditions that were set in place long ago that are the common thread in our family, whether we can geographically be together or not. We will still enjoy my mother’s cornbread stuffing because all the cooks in the family now have that recipe. My husband will have a bit of his mother with him as we eat out of her mother’s cranberry bowl. It has been passed down now 3 times! We haven’t decided if we will have my fathers’ fruit ambrosia or banana pudding. He finally conceded and gave us his secret recipes just a few years ago to our delight! Whether we are all at the same table together or scattered across many states, it is the comforts of tradition that brings about closeness and bridges any gaps. It is also a reminder to us of the memories that have helped to shape us and our holidays’ past.

Many families, regardless of their faith or heritage will begin celebrating using their traditions carried from generation to generation. The Jewish community will celebrate Chanukah by lighting the Menorah for eight days. The Christians will celebrate Christmas, celebrating the birth of Christ on the 25th.. African-Americans will honor their heritage for seven days in a fairly new tradition called Kwanzaa, beginning on the 26th. A local Outer Banks tradition called, “Old Christmas” goes back over 100 years and is still celebrated by some, but this celebration occurs as it always has, in January.

What will you pass down this year? A recipe, an old treasured family tablecloth, that special saw that always cut down the Christmas tree? Maybe we can add to that. Let’s meet this season with peace and the fruit of the spirit in our hearts to love and forgive the offenses from the past. Let it be a time to right the wrongs, make peace, love the unlovable and be merciful. We are all God’s Children and we are a part of His Circle of Love. Pass it on!

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