Sharing Traditions: Leeandra

This Sharing Traditions post is going to be written by my good friend, Leeandra.  I hope you all enjoy what she has to share and if you like her writing here, be sure and check out her blog, A Saints Heart.  She posts daily devotionals and thoughts she has throughout the day.  I have loved reading her posts and enjoying the encouragement they bring!

I hope you love Leeandra as much as I do!


My family's Christmas traditions tremendously differ from other families. We use a fake tree, we don't decorate the entire house, and lights are forbidden, by my dad, to go on the outside of our home. So how does Christmas tradition come into play with my family? Each year there are two things that are considered a custom for my family. The first Christmas practice seems unorthodox, while the other tradition seems just that-traditional.

My family is very close, but every Christmas one thing is for sure- my family struggles to want to "do" Christmas. Yes, we love the feelings, the meaning, the food and the presents that come with Christmas, but getting there always seems like a hopeless endeavor. My brother always struggles to find the drive to climb to the top of the garage and throw down a 40 pound, fake Christmas tree. My dad always grapples with wanting to stop everything to set up a tree that will only be up for a month. My mom strives to keep her composure while dealing with my brother and my dad's less than festive attitudes, and I always feel like I'm caught in the middle fighting my own battle. While this may not be a warm and fuzzy tradition, it's our tradition. My family's tradition. 

My family's second Christmas tradition much more tender and traditional.Every year, even since before I was born, my dad's best childhood friend comes over on Christmas Eve. He was the best man at my parents wedding, he is about 6'5",  and has never gotten married. But like clockwork, and without calling, he always shows up on Christmas Eve. We eat a big meal, gather to watch It's a Wonderful Life, and our family friend stays to visit with my parents long after my brother and I have gone to bed. This sounds much more like a classic tradition to me!

So what do these two traditions have in common? They have family in common. 

Our first tradition sounds more like a battle than a tender sacrifice, but after we have fought the battle we always have a deeper feeling of love for each other. We each go out of our way for the people that we love the most, and we don't get caught up in a  "perfect" Christmas. We remember that Christmas isn't about all of the worldly things, it's about thankfulness towards what Christ did.

 Our second tradition is also about family, but not blood kin. My dad's best friend has been grafted into my family. He is a fixture in the Wells family, even if we sometimes only see him once a year. He's not our "real" family, but we desire to make him part of our family. For several years now the relationship with our family friend has represented how I became part of God's family. God desired to make me part of His family, He didn't force me, He just showed me how badly He craved for me to become part of His family through salvation. John 1:12 says "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name"
Traditions range so greatly from one family to the next, each provides something unique to their individual family. My family certainly brings their own form of interpretation to traditions. Our traditions aren't perfect, model or normal, but they're our Christmas traditions.