By Vicki Molinari


While walking through a store one day in October I felt overwhelmed. Bags of candy, plastic pumpkin buckets and costumes were to my left.  Over on my right were turkey platters and Fall colored placements, items to help me prepare for Thanksgiving. And then, no.... it could not be.  In the center of the store were Christmas trees and lights! 


How could they possibly expect me to focus on one holiday at a time?


A simple glance around the store reminded me I was headed into the busiest season of the year.  My supposedly peaceful stroll into Sam's one morning caused my heart to race and my thoughts to wander.


It was time to start planning the family holiday activities and events that we participate in year after year; our traditions.


Pumpkin carving, fall festival and hayrides were first on the list of plans for my family. 


Next, I must plan our Thanksgiving meal to include all of the delectable traditional food I have known since I was a young girl, followed by sharing "I'm Thankful For's" around the table.


Finally comes my favorite event of the year, Christmas; the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus!  Oh, where to begin.  Whether in the tree trimming, hanging of the lights and stockings, gift giving or the festive caroling, it is a special time to make memories.


Holiday traditions hold great value and worth in families and are very important. I certainly want to pass these down to my kids and grandkids.


What about spiritual traditions - the passing down of faith - that should be happening all through the year? 

In the Bible, God tells us how to do this in Deuteronomy 11:18-19. He told the Israelites:

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (NIV)

This verse changed my thoughts on traditions. They are not just for holiday seasons.  It is also important to focus on the spiritual traditions I can pass down throughout the entire year, those that matter for eternity and make a difference in the hearts and lives of my family and others.  My New Year's resolution:  I will start with the Bible.  I will set an example and focus on the tradition of reading, living out, and loving God’s Word. This is a tradition worth passing down.

How about you?  In the New Year ahead, what traditions will be your focus?