Monday, December 6, 2010
Christmas Traditions: Part I
One of my most favorite traditions that we did both as a family and as a church growing up was that of advent. Advent kicked our holidays off every year and our church hosted a Chrismon service on the first Sunday evening of Advent (which is the first Sunday in December).
These services were always special - meaningful with the church's holiday tree covered in Chrismons (ornaments that were designed with specific religious meaning behind each one). Several special Chrismons were highlighted in the service, Christmas carols were sung, and members of the congregation would share testimony of how God had worked in their life over the past year.
The Advent wreath was a huge symbol, the first candle being lit that evening. At home, we also lit our candles ever Sunday - anticipating more and more the day of Christmas.
What I cherished most about that service and our advent wreath were the coming together of family - not just biological family - church family. I have realized as an adult that I was SO blessed with the church experience I had back home. The families that worshiped with us also helped raise us, taught us Sunday School, celebrated with us, mourned with us, and prayed for us. They were my family and they still are today - as many of them still contact us, pray for us, and love on us when we go home.
It is hard for me this year as I know I will not be "home" for Christmas. My family is choosing to stay in Texas this year and Atmore will not be on our agenda - therefore, I won't see my Atmore family either. But this is truly why I believe we carry on traditions, so that I can have those people with me in spirit while I celebrate these special memories with my own children and pass them down to generations to come.