As I was typing the title for today’s post, it occurred to me that my wife and I don’t have many traditions. Eating pizza whenever it snows might qualify as one, but always having Sunday dinner out seems more like a habit than a tradition.
Even when it comes to Christmas, we have very few traditions. In fact, only one comes to mind. Opening presents when we get home from the Christmas Eve service at church. Without kids to wake us up on Christmas morning, it seems like a good practice.
A good practice? See? I didn’t even think to refer to it as a tradition.
But there’s one Christmas tradition my wife doesn’t have the opportunity to participate in, and I had the chance to enjoy it today (“today” is last Wednesday).
As many of you know, especially if you’ve been following this blog for a while or paying attention to the songs I post on my website, I participate in our church’s weekly nursing home ministry. Except on the second Wednesday of the month when a different group comes to conduct the service.
Our services consist mostly of our group singing hymns familiar to the residents and doing a brief devotional. It’s also a time for me to get to share one of my two hundred or so original songs.
Our group consists of two leaders–I think of them both as leaders, anyhow, even though Jeff is now the pastor at a different church–and three others who sing. Three more people come and mingle with the residents, help to bring them to the dining hall, and assist the residents in numerous other ways. They also help to stow our equipment away once we finish.
The other members of the team are people I have very little contact with at church or elsewhere, even though we have a very good relationship at the nursing home and I thoroughly enjoy being with them. I’m able to ignore the fact that five of them are actually older than I am!
My one Christmas tradition, the one my wife doesn’t get to participate in, is a group dinner at Cracker Barrel on the Wednesday closest to Christmas Day–or, as it worked out this year, one week before.
All but one member of our group participated–she had made other plans–and we enjoyed a special time of fellowship as well as a yummy meal. Considering some of the differences in age, interests, and life experiences, our ability to enjoy one another that way is remarkable. Wonderful.
One thing that makes this meal time together special for me is the realization that–even though all of us seem to be in good health–our celebration together next year might see drastic changes. Somebody might have died. Or have become seriously ill.
As weird as it feels to consider the possibility, one of us might even have become a resident at the nursing home and no longer able to participate actively in the ministry there.
That’s probably the main reason this tradition means so much to me. Although the practice of eating together at Cracker Barrel may continue for years to come, those participating next year may not all be the same ones who participated this year.
I love and appreciate my fellow team members, and I just want to thank them for the role they play–not only in the lives of the nursing home residents, but in mine.
Do you have a special tradition–related to Christmas or to something else? How about sharing a comment?
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- Check out Roger’s other blog, As I Come Singing
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- Check out Roger’s free Christian lead sheets
- Shop for Roger’s books on Amazon
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