Feeling Sentimental about Some Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions are such an important part of the season

Christmas is a time of wonderful traditions. We have so many things to look forward to each year. The first Christmas tradition each year is usually when department stores put up decorations. That makes it official. The Christmas season has started. The second Christmas tradition follows immediately. Adults all over the country simultaneously begin to complain about how early the decorations have been put up. They insist they are putting them up earlier and earlier each year. I know this is an official tradition because I remember hearing adults complaining about it over 50 years ago and every year since. It isn’t true, of course. It’s just part of the Christmas tradition.

Christmas traditions - mall decorations

The next  Christmas tradition is playing Christmas music in the mall, on the radio and at home. It doesn’t take long before radio stations are playing only Christmas music. It’s wonderful! This is quickly followed by the Christmas tradition of people complaining about how it seems everyone everywhere is playing Christmas music this year. Like with the Christmas decorations, it isn’t true, but we complain anyway. It’s part of the Christmas tradition.

Another visible tradition is that Christmas tree lots start popping up in shopping center parking lots. There are those little trailers and the people that sell the trees look like the same people who worked at the carnival in the summer. That’s all part of the Christmas tradition. This is followed by, yes, you guessed it, adults complaining about how early the Christmas tree lots seem to be opening this year. It’s common to hear things like “Who would ever buy a tree this early? They put them up so early they’ll all be dry by Christmas! I’ll bet they don’t sell all of them!” That’s all part of the Christmas tradition.

Christmas tradition - Christmas tree lot

Then there’s the tradition of shopping. I remember going to the mall at Christmas time as a kid. It was so busy. It was an exciting place to be. Shopping, of course, leads to the Christmas tradition of complaining about shopping. This is a well-honed tradition. There are some people with real expertise with this. Why I’ve heard people complain about prices, the long lines, terrible parking and sales clerks that aren’t very helpful all in one breath! Yes, this is a rich Christmas tradition indeed.

Christmas traditions - mall parking

Where did this tradition of complaining about Christmas start? As we look back over time, all the way back to the first Christmas, it’s amazing what Jesus and Mary had to endure. Mary had traveled a great distance while pregnant and had to be feeling uncomfortable. Bethlehem was over-crowded because of the Roman census. Joseph looked but couldn’t find a room to rent at any of the inns. It’s likely they stayed in a cave that was a stable. Can you imagine? They were far from their family back in Nazareth, so they didn’t have any close family to help them when the baby was born. The only people that came by were some shepherds that they didn’t even know.

Yet, it’s kind of amazing. The Bible doesn’t tell us that Mary and Joseph complained about anything. Hmm, I guess the Christmas tradition of complaining hadn’t started yet! May the true joy of Christmas fill your heart today!

What’s your Christmas tradition?  Please leave a comment or question below.