Well last Friday we did another family Christmas tradition. Every year, since we moved up to Minnesota, we take a trip down to Nicollet Ave. in downtown Minneapolis to see the Macy’s exhibit and the Hollidazzle Parade. Of course, ever since the girls were little, for some reason, they always thought that it was the “Haas”-a-dazzle parade. And yes, it is definitely a “dazzling” Haas experience; but, we’ve never bothered to correct them. (Note: We also celebrate the “Morph of July” in our family… you know, the time when you light fireworks and sparklers). Of course, our kids love it (and there’s a Starbucks in the IDS tower for you parents as well.)
But I’ll tell you what: Traditions are a valuable thing. (I know. It’s strange to hear that from a man who named a church “Substance”) But, in saying this, it’s not just the tradition that matters: Mainly it’s the friendships that you nurture and the memories you make. For example, one of my fondest memories as a kid was staying up late playing sheep’s head with my grandparents (it’s a German card game – not animal torture). You see, traditions can be silly (like me sleeping in my backyard shed with my girls last summer). But, big or small, these traditions are memorable. And to this day, when I think back about the holidays, I think of the fun times we had together as a family.
As I’ve watched dynamic families over the years, I’ve noticed that, the ones who have the most fun family traditions end up being the ones who stay the closest over the years. Of course every family goes through change. And perhaps today, your family isn’t as close as it used to be. But, quite often, it’s those stupid but fun traditions that always end up pulling everyone back together. Hence it encourages me to do the best job possible in making our family traditions the best they can be.
So, as you go into your holiday season, ask yourself: What kind of traditions does your family have? What kind of fun would create common ground between yourself and the rest of the family? And most importantly: How can you keep intimate friendship and fun at the center of everything you do? I believe that, in answering these simple questions, you’re worshipping the Lord by being the family he created you to be. Does that make sense?
All I know is this: When my kids grow up and bring their kids downtown… they aren’t merely going to see a Hollidazzle Parade… they’re gonna see a “Haas-a-dazzle Parade”. And as they smile and think back on all the ridiculous adventures that their Father concocted, my hope is that, deep down in their hearts, they will know: “I was loved”. After all why else would their father sleep in a shed in their backyard with them?
So, as you go into your holiday season… don’t be that spaced out relative who sprawls out on the couch all weekend. It might take a little extra thinking… but, it’s never too late to start a crazy fun tradition!!!!!
I love you guys!!!! Merry Christmas!