As humans, we are really drawn to tradition and ritual. Just look at any sporting event that follows the same form or suggest doing something DIFFERENT for Christmas with your family, and you'll see how tightly we hold to tradition.
We feel secure. Traditions give us peace and sense that when all things change, there are still some things left that are unchanging.
One of my favorite things I did this year was start a Christmas tradition of my own. One that can be celebrated by myself or with others, that involves singing Christmas carols, reflecting on the BEAUTIFUL artwork and quotes that CL puts out for Christmas every year, and praying in front of my Nativity scene.
I was suprised by how much I craved the silent time but am scared I will only be distracted. Having an intentional structure made the few minutes spent on Christmas Eve in prayer especially rich and filling. I wrote out the whole "program" so I wouldn't forget about it next year, and if there are people around, I'll ask them to be part of it. I don't do it to be formal or follow rules, but because the time I spend preparing for Christmas I want to be meaningful.
In the end, I really encourage you, especially if you're living on your own, to embrace your "extra" time of silence (during the holidays or any other time) and do something "traditional" that maybe no one else will ever know about. It's something special you can keep between you and God to grown in relationship with Him. More and more, I want to experience this peace and deep joy opened up for us through the birth of our Lord, Jesus. Paying attention and facing the silence is proving to be a great start for me!
Merry Christmas to all of my blog readers out there! I'm so grateful for your kind words and praise God that what I say can move those of you who have witnessed to it. What a beautiful gift we have to communicate life experience to one another so we can be sustained on the path.
Need more Christmastime blogging? Click here for past posts :)