Holiday Traditions

Worship services with family and friends.  Lunch around Grandma’s table.  A house full of hustle and bustle.  Hunting for eggs full of candy.  Pretty dresses and new shoes.  Dying eggs for a colorful basket display.

Ahhhh, the traditions of Easter.  Or, any spiritual holiday, really.  I have fond memories of my extended family gathering together and sharing life.  But, once Shawn and I gave our lives to full-time ministry, some of that changed.  We moved away from extended family to answer God’s call on our lives, and those holidays have the tendency to get swallowed up in the demands of ministry.  It’s a very, very small sacrifice to pay to honor my Father.  Nevertheless, several years ago, I found myself misty-eyed one Easter as I stood in the lobby of Mountain Lake.  I was listening to many people relay their plans for their Easter afternoons – complete with family gatherings and memory-making moments.  My family was worn out from all the prep, planning, and execution of multiple worship services and had absolutely no energy reserves to go home and whip up a holiday feast.  And, as for family, well, they were miles away.  So, I was feeling a little left out of the holiday fun…..and realizing that my children weren’t experiencing all the traditions and celebrations of the holiday.

As a family in ministry, I knew I needed to make some adjustments to create the family memories I craved.  So, I began making our holiday lunch in advance so I can simply warm it when we come home after a long day at church.  And, I planned time for my family to rest in the afternoon so we could all recoup, a bit.  Then, we have an early evening Easter egg hunt.  We also choose to give the kids their Easter baskets on Saturday morning, rather than Sunday, since Sunday mornings are rushed as we leave early for MLC. 

Many of my friends in ministry have discovered the need to work a little harder to add the holiday traditions into their lives, too.  Our families are worth it, so we get creative. 

What traditions does your family enjoy?  Do you have to get creative like me?

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3 thoughts on “Holiday Traditions

  1. Hey Tricia, thanks for the post. Buck and I have been trying to come up with a plan to still make the weekend meaningful for our family outside of church since it will be crazy on Sunday. I think we are going to go for the Saturday morning family experience too…so, thanks for I guess “giving us permission” to do it a little differently.

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  2. Tammy says:

    Same here- my family had a hard time when we had to say we can’t be at Brunch etc. A few years back we started celebrating those ” traditions” on Sat as you mentioned… 2years ago I began preparing lunch & a special ” green room” area for our staff & their kids on site at church. THIS year for the 1st time in over 15 yrs… My entire family called & said they planned a huge get together on our behalf the sat before Easter wknd as were having fri, sat & sun svcs this year… They finally get it! It’s ok to do different- and the same will be true when Christmas falls on a Sunday- we did gift opening sat before as well! Our families & traditions matter & There’s no reason us in full time can’t experience both the ministry & the holiday!

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  3. Your post encouraged me to write about our traditions on my blog, too! You’re right, as a pastor’s family, we just have to be more intentional and plan ahead if we want our families to have memorable holiday celebrations. I love the early evening egg hunt idea, ours was always Sunday afternoon, then everyone collapsed!! Maybe I can steal that idea for my grandkids one day! These are our traditions:

    http://chickfood.blogspot.com/2011/04/easter-at-home.html

    Love your blog, you always encourage me!!

    Leslie Oden
    Crossroads Community Church
    Enterprise, AL

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