Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Traditions Featured

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So I am sure we all have time honoured traditions we observe within our circle of family and friends as we approach the most joyous of events in the birth of our Lord! For many of us it is in the gathering of loved ones at certain times and places to share food, drink, laughter and the warm company of one another that makes this season even more special and memorable. Perhaps it is the family tradition of purchasing a “real” tree, touring the “Festival of Trees” at the WDM or the “Enchanted Forest” light show together. Maybe it is getting together and going tobogganing at Diefenbaker Hill or spending quality time on “wrapping night” enjoying eggnog and carols. The commonality in our traditions seems to be we are really able to take the time “for each other – with each other”, something that is increasingly difficult within our busy routines.

Growing up, in our large family, it was always attending Midnight Mass as a family, except for the youngest ones, who stayed home with Mom, with the promise we would go to sleep and give Santa the opportunity to slide down the chimney. We were awoken around 2 am when the gang returned from Mass amid the pure joy of wrapping paper and new toy train sets. Us younger ones were especially intrigued by the “new” girlfriends and boyfriends our siblings would bring home, especially if it involved the excitement of an engagement.  No one got much sleep and the next day always involved a sleigh ride with the Clydesdales and a very large, joyous family supper. As the extended family grew larger we have taken to renting the local hockey rink in Wilkie on Boxing Day for a spirited game of shiny, (nieces and nephews have been pounding the brothers for several years now) followed by a potluck at the local hall. Laura and I also create a calendar every Christmas for each side of the extended family that captures the ever growing listing of birthdays and anniversaries, it has been twenty years now and it appears this is a tradition we will never be able to stop! New traditions also arise as families evolve and emerge.  Laura and I venture to Humboldt every year to celebrate with her family on Christmas Eve. The Mass of Christmas Eve truly has an anticipatory spirit even our fidgety kids can appreciate. We have developed the tradition of travelling back to Saskatoon late at night after that Mass. Our own children insist on this now as we sing Christmas Carols all the way home scanning the skies for the bright lights of the Christmas Star and Rudolph’s nose!  Then it is off to bed to catch a few winks before the excitement of Christmas Day.

For many of us these Christmas traditions become cherished memories to be embraced and honoured. For some though, we may have recently lost a loved one dear to us and that can actually make this an especially hard time of year. If you know someone in this situation perhaps think about how you might start some new traditions for them or with them to help ease the sense of loss at a time of celebration and rejoicing. It does not have to be a large or elaborate gesture, but even the simplest act can reflect the face of God in our lives. We are, after all, the “Cathedral of the Holy Family” and are called to be family for and to one another.

As we approach a full year of enjoying our wonderful worship space and developing new traditions here it would truly be wonderful to read about some of the Christmas traditions others enjoy. Feel free to post your best traditions and memories within the comments section as we eagerly anticipate the Birth of Jesus.

A Warm and Merry Christmas to All!

Mike Cey - Parish Pastoral Council Chair

Read 10930 times Last modified on Thursday, December 20, 2012
Patrick Clarke

Patrick Clarke is the Administrator of the Cathedral of the Holy Family.  He is married to Tanya.  Together, they have two children: Ava (7) and Lachlan (4) and they are expecting their third child in February, 2013