2009 Photo by Lambert Wolterbeek Muller, flickr

Christmas Traditions

By the time this blog is posted, the holiday season will be well behind us — and with the speed of things, will probably seem like months ago already. But I’m writing this while the events of the season are still fresh in my mind; so before I forget . . . three thoughts on fads and family.

Just because a cliché is corny doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

For example, the Statler Brothers once put an old cliché into a song: “The greatest Christmas present is something you can’t buy” time together. Yep, it’s a cliché, and it’s corny — and it’s still true. (What are some corny clichés that you’ve learned are more true than hackneyed? Or perhaps ones you have learned the hard way are really true? . . . )

Just because a tradition is corny doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be preserved.

Yes, we still go around the table at Thanksgiving for each person to say what they’re thankful for. And, yes, I still buy too much chocolate to fill up the stockings, “hung by the chimney with care” (though we don’t actually have a chimney; our stockings hang on the stair rail). As much as the snarky cartoons and TV sitcoms make such fare fodder for satire, there’s actually a preciousness to these traditions that, however corny, are worth preserving. Little things mean a lot; life’s simple pleasures are the best. (See above paragraph on corny clichés still being true. . . . )

Just because a fad is hip doesn’t mean it’s going to last for long at all.

Did you catch any of the news clips of shoppers fighting for items (presumably Christmas gifts) during the Black Friday sales events? There’s an eeriness to the predictability of this phenomenon. OK, I’m going to resist the urge to comment sanctimoniously on our culture’s commercialism and consumerism.

I will observe, though, that these same mall fights over store items were had in past years — and over what? Cabbage patch dolls; Nintendo 64 sets; CB radios . . . I’ll let you connect the dots on what that says. . . .

Reflecting just a little bit on all this, I recognize that much that is most special and most substantive and most precious in life consists of pursuing and preserving good and wholesome habits over time. Sometimes living well is simply a matter of mundanely putting one foot in front of the other — but in the right direction. This is true in family life. It’s true in life in Christ, too. Eugene Peterson talks about discipleship in Christ being a “long obedience in the same direction.”

If this be true, I wonder what implications there may be for our church life, and life together as a family in Christ. Can we fall into the trap of pursuing the faddish over the mundane but truly important?

Just a question. Just a thought.

About the Author

Todd Mangum

Dr. R. Todd Mangum

Todd Mangum is the Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at Biblical. He is ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention. Todd is the author of The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift, and co-author (with Dr. Paul Pettit of the Howard Hendricks Leadership Center in Dallas, TX) of the just-released book, Blessed are the Balanced: Following Jesus into the Academy (Kregel), and of several articles seeking to bridge divides among Bible-believing Christians. He is married to Linda and they have three sons.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Blog Mission

The purpose of this blog will be to expand the influence of our faculty, maintain contact with our graduates, and invite other friends to think with us about important biblical and theological ideas.

Biblical's Faculty

Biblical’s Faculty:

We are committed to ongoing engagement with culture and the world for the sake of our witness to the Gospel, and to continual learning from Christians in other cultural settings.

Latest Blog Entries

Written on 19 December 2014 - by R. Todd Mangum
Written on 17 December 2014 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 15 December 2014 - by David Lamb
Written on 12 December 2014 - by Dr. Kyuboem Lee
Written on 08 December 2014 - by Dr. David Dunbar
Written on 01 December 2014 - by Manuel Ortiz
Written on 25 November 2014 - by R. Todd Mangum
Written on 19 November 2014 - by Steve Taylor
Written on 17 November 2014 - by Stephen Taylor
Written on 14 November 2014 - by Charles Zimmerman

Previous Blog Entries

Follow Biblical

Follow us on the following sites and receive notifications on upcoming events and blog entries:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on Twitterg+_64_black

Contact Admissions

800.235.4021 x146

215.368.5000 x146

215.368.4913 (fax)

 

admissions@biblical.edu

Stay Connected with Biblical

Follow us on the following sites:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on TwitterFollow Biblical on YouTubeg+_64_black
Or simply call us at...
800.235.4021 x146 or 215.368.5000 x146

Support Biblical by Giving

800.235.4021 x162

215.368.5000 x162

215.368.7002 (fax)

 

development@biblical.edu

Home