Author: Tim Brinkley
Tradition carries the belief and customs of one generation into the next. I find it curious that often, a custom we would not choose for ourselves becomes central to our seasonal and holiday practices. In a manner of speaking, it is like eating vegetables as a child, verses eating them as an adult. In our youth we may have spent countless hours wrestling with “three more green beans” before leaving the table, but by contrast are now the ones bringing the green bean casserole to the family gathering.
Whether your tradition is aligned with the Christian belief in the incarnation, a non-religious seasonal practice, or some blending of values unique to your own customs, I encourage you to remember that each year in our desire to hold true to tradition, we find that inevitable changes to our circumstances, faith practices, or even geography significantly impact us in both obvious and subtle ways.
For some, this may be the first Christmas season after the loss of a loved one. Others may believe this to be their last Christmas celebration, while still others are missing family who may be serving our nation’s military overseas. Whatever your circumstance, the expression of the soul is found in the traditions we cherish and much like the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, we can rest assured that the intangible values of the human experience, such as expressions of love, desire and grief, are enough to create experiences that we believe should be given to the next generation.
Traditions are the expression of belief. As we hustle and bustle, sing by candlelight, pass gifts around a tree or resolve to change something about ourselves going into the new year, each of us holds a critical part of the human experience deep in our soul. The translation of these beliefs into valued practices, is what makes this time of year so magically special.
You are the vessel that brings joy into someone else’s experience. Whether they want to “eat your green beans” or not, anything served with love will one day be looked upon with fondness. During this season, celebrate in a big way, love with generosity, and freely give away the expressions of your soul. Let the magic of this time of year do the rest.
Petersburg Home for Ladies is committed to its unchanging purpose to satisfy the human need for security, companionship, care and love and to be an agent of blessing to all whom it touches. From all of us at the Ladies’ Home, may this season fill you with joy, may you be surrounded by those who love you and may the legacy of your traditions echo through celebrations for many years to come.