Traditions Turned Around


I was so embarrassed.

My daughter’s first grade teacher gave the children an assignment to write about their family traditions during the holidays. The problem was that our Anika didn’t think we had any traditions, except for celebrating with friends at various Christmas parties in December. She thought she had nothing to write about.

Sure I baked special cookies every year. We put up a Christmas tree and decorated the house. I even insisted that we include more than one nativity scene around the house to remind us of the real reason for the season. Of course, we opened presents on Christmas morning and celebrated too!

Why could she not remember any of these fun things and write about them? Did she not understand the purpose for traditions?

Well… I admit I am not the most consistent person. I absolutely love to change things. I call this not getting in a rut; but honestly, this holiday is going to be vastly different from anything we could have imagined. Our teenage daughter is living at Heartlight Boarding School, and we were encouraged to NOT allow her to come home as it might undo the counseling she already received and hinder her process.

The school closes from December 23rd through 27th, and she can’t stay there, but at the moment that I am writing this post… she doesn’t want to be with us. At the Parent Retreat we attended in late November, Anika was so angry that she refused to see us even for a moment.

No “Hi Mom”.  No hug. NOTHING.

Strange thing is that we didn’t want to send her away. We didn’t enroll her to be mean. We did it to save her life, for we knew we couldn’t help her. We searched high and low for a safe place where she could be loved and have an opportunity to be healed.

However, she doesn’t understand. And so, what are we going to do this Christmas?

Now that I think about our situation, I am so happy that I’ve never made Christmas traditions more important that celebrating the Savior. I’m happy that God created me to be comfortable with changing things up.

Therefore, I’ve decided to turn around last year’s traditions and do something new. I am still going to attend the Ladies Christmas Brunch at my church, the Apex Christmas on Salem Street, and all the other fun things that may come my way with my friends and family… because I don’t think the Lord would want me to stop living just because there’s a piece of my heart that is grieving.

I’m not sure yet what my Christmas Day will look like this year, but I am fairly certain it will be in Texas.

I also know it will be good because I have Christ. He is my Wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. I WILL have a good holiday because I choose to rejoice in my Savior

Do you believe too? What new things will you do to turn around a tradition that isn’t working for you this year? 

Now who lives in Texas and has some good ideas for me and my little family to turn our tradition around?

One response to “Traditions Turned Around

  1. I will pray that God softens your daughter’s heart. If you do come to Texas, I pray that your time with your doughtier will be a fresh new beginning. She is in East Texas and I don’t know much about that area, but I have friends who aren’t too far away and will contact them for some ideas.


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