Friday, January 11, 2019

Thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus

Written by  David Polzen

The Christmas tree is now packed away for another year. It seems like it was just the other day that we were decorating it. Christmas is done, and at its conclusion I find myself pondering a multitude of memories and reflecting on a variety of “traditions.” How some things change and how some things remain the same (for the time being).

There was the tradition of Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family, then Christmas Day with my dad’s side of the family, and then Boxing Day with my immediate family. This has changed as additions and losses to the family have occurred, as well as the effects life’s changing circumstances have had upon this schedule. This tradition changed for me when career duties and schedules conflicted with me being able to attend family gatherings. But from this change, there grew other so-called traditions; such as, I found myself quite often attending Midnight Mass then returning home to sit in a Christmas Tree lit room. Just sitting there. Being still. Being comfortable. Just being. Being grateful. Being absorbed into the wonderous mystery of the gift of Jesus.

This tradition of being on my own has transitioned into my life with a spouse. This year I found us both sitting in the light of the Christmas Tree after Midnight Mass. It was a delightful change to tradition.

A Christmas occurrence that has been going on for numerous years and which has now been elevated to the title of tradition in my mind is that every Christmas, my Baba’s (grandmother) Christmas gift to all her family members is a pair of socks with a little something in one of the socks. It just would not be Christmas without receiving a gift-wrapped pair of socks from Baba. It amazes me how such a simple and practical gift carries such a huge importance and has such an impact upon a person. But, in time, this “tradition” will experience change too. Baba is currently 106 years of age and at some point in time, socks from Baba at Christmas will come to a halt. Others may try to carry on the tradition, but I think it just won’t be the same.

And speaking of not being the same…this Christmas Eve, due to work schedules and other commitments, my wife and I had the pleasure of a totally different kind of Christmas Eve supper: we enjoyed the culinary delights of a drive thru restaurant. It was a first for me. I can not recall ever having fast food on Christmas Eve, even when I worked Christmas Eve. Who knows, this too may become a tradition!


The culmination of my pondering is basically that life is filled with change, even to traditions. And amongst the change it is good to take the time to be still. To just be. To reflect and be grateful. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus, for tradition and for change.

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