Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent 2013


             I consider the move to Savannah my transition to starting my own traditions.  In college and when I lived in Washington, I really didn't feel like the holidays started until I arrived home.  Moving to Savannah changed all of that because I had my own place and could start traditions on my own. 

             However, my ability to start a lasting "new" tradition seems to get caught up in the craziness of the season.  There are many ways I do succeed -- I always get my tree up and I always put up my nativity set and a few other decorations.  However, those seem to be traditions that flowed from one generation to the next.

My solution for not setting myself up for failure is to do something new each year.  One year, we went to the Gingerbread village at the Westin.  One year, my new experience was to ride around with a friend looking at Christmas lights.  Another year, I went to the Savannah Theatre for their Christmas productions.  And of course there was the first year I came to the Organ Music by Candlelight service and went caroling with the church.  Last year I really broke with tradition and left our family Christmas dinner early to make it for First Baptist's Christmas Eve service which was so beautiful.

Between all the parties, shopping, and other activities, it is easy for Christmas to get lost.  It's also easy to not be able to distinguish one Christmas from another.  So while I have never thought of my "do something new" as a tradition, I guess it is.  And more importantly, it works for me.  I have found that the older we get it is easy to just go through the motions of life.  But if we do that at Christmas time, we miss out on something so special.  And Christmas is special.  It is the day we celebrate our Lord entering this world as one of us.  It doesn't get more special than that. 

So while some could argue that I really don't have a new tradition, I would contend that my tradition is to keep each Christmas new.  Perhaps the best part is I don't know what my tradition for this year will be.  Even though I don't know what it will be, I do hope it brings a few moments of peace or excitement to make this Christmas more special.  My wish is for each of us to take a deep breath and experience Jesus' arrival in a new way this year.  And if there is something I should add to my list of things to do for this year, please let me know.

- Jeb Bush


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