Since my parents divorced, it’s been a struggle to find a “family Christmas tradition.” I thought once I married my wife, we’d quickly create our own tradition. But between my separated parents, my sister’s family, and my wife’s family, a family Christmas tradition remains a foreign concept to us. We want to be unified with our families, but at the same time, choosing where and when to be with them has often put a strain on where and when we can be with them.
To create some sort of holiday continuity for myself, wherever we spend our holiday, I like to make sure TBS’s 24-hour marathon of The Christmas Story remains on at least one TV in whichever house we’re staying in. Even though most of our family aren’t the biggest fans of A Christmas Story, I think they subtly understand my desire for tradition and continuity. So they laugh at and along with me for some of my favorite lines of the movie: “Ohhhh ffffuuuudge,” “Fra-jee-lay. It must be Italian!” and “You’ll shoot your eye out,” are just a few of them.
Our editor at Christ and Pop Culture, Erin Straza, helped me see that this touches on the ways we navigate brokenness and attempt to establish stability in the midst—which reminded me of the hope we have in Jesus. The desire my wife and I have for joy and unity at Christmas will one day be fulfilled at the foot of Christ’s throne. In the midst of our current broken patterns of Christmas, Christ remains the joy at the center of our Christmas Story.
(This blurb was originally published at ChristandPopCulture.com)