By Jan Berger
The holiday season often fills my brain with “to-do lists” and I focus on “checking off the list” rather than being mindful of the reason for the doing. I heard a recent radio commentary that captured my attention. Apparently, family traditions play an unusual role in jogging our memory of who we are, especially during the holiday season. So embracing tradition holds tremendous value. It strengthens our memories.
One significant tradition in our family is the FUMC Christmas Breakfast for the Homeless. Two years ago, Ed and I found ourselves unable to schedule a spot to serve, so we opted to participate the evening before. A small, mighty army of folks were in the kitchen peeling potatoes, stacking tortillas, and cracking eggs. I stood next to Trevor Harper, someone I was just getting to know. Amid egg shells up to our elbows, Trevor and I found our shared Oklahoma origins and enjoyment of cooking and hospitality. It is a memory I treasure.
Last year, my Breakfast assignment was in the kitchen, again working next to Trevor. As I rapidly filled plates, I looked into the Great Hall to see my seven grandchildren and their parents serving our guests and caring tenderly for their needs. Ed was behind me calling out for refills of food and supplies. All around there was no sense of race or class or superiority. There was only a sense of community. I paused a brief moment. This is Christmas. This is tradition. This is a priceless memory.
My prayer as we enter this holy season is that you, too, incorporate traditions in your holiday plans. And if the Christmas Breakfast is not one of your traditions, make it a new one. I guarantee you will make lasting memories of whose you are.