Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. I am a sucker for (nearly) all of it (the exception would be Christmas music in October…). I grew up with many traditions, many of which Jenn and I celebrate with our boys each December. Some of these traditions include trudging around the woods with friends and family to find the perfect Christmas tree (this tradition includes the stipulation that no one is allowed to cut a tree down without at least one kid in the group crying first :). This is getting much harder to adhere to as they get older though. Other traditions include family Bible readings each evening, Christmas movies and certain foods/meals.
The main purpose of our traditions is to highlight the advent season and build anticipation for Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s birth, but these traditions are also used to emphasize God’s continuous love for us throughout the entire year. It is important that we remember that these Christmastime traditions are only a brief, dim reflection of what is to come when Christ returns. The seasonal, temporary kindness of strangers and wishful thinking of peace for all humanity will be replaced with perfect love.
My family and I wish you a wonderful Christmas season and pray that you are able to focus not only on the celebration of Christ’s birth, but also build on the hope of what is yet to come…
Ryan Odell (and Jenn, Conner, Graham and Taylor), elder