Friday, December 27, 2019

A New Christmas Tradition

Old traditions must begin somewhere and at some time. How else would they become traditions? 

Kelly Jo and I were both the first kids in our family to marry. Both families had to navigate splitting up time for holidays. For us, Christmas was no problem. The Morgan's celebrated on Christmas Eve and the Boggs' celebrated on Christmas Day. EasyPeasy!

Our first Christmas as a married couple was spent as described above. By our second Christmas, we were forming our own traditions and here is how it worked. Christmas Eve with the Morgans, Christmas morning in our home with the three of us and the rest of Christmas Day with the Boggs family.

Three years after we married, our siblings began to marry and one by one each sibling navigated their spouse's family traditions, new traditions began and I am sure old traditions gave way in some instances and we pretty much followed our comfortable pattern onward.

Most of the years since then have followed that pattern, with a few special exceptions. Christmas of 1987, KJo, Odie and I took our first family vacation. We left Christmas Eve and drove to Florida for the week, arriving home on New Year's Eve. 

There was a year, somewhere in the late 90's, that we left Christmas Day to drive to Florida to preach a revival. Then four years, 1999-2002, we spent Christmas Day in Wichita, Kansas where we lived at the time. One of those years, the Morgans spent with us.

Other years, my siblings or KJo's siblings had to miss the Christmas gatherings due to work, vacations, sickness or other life happenings, but the families pressed forward. We discovered that the best traditions are not etched in stone or dictated, but open to changes. We keep our family traditions, even after slight temporary variations, because we love them, they are etched in our hearts.

For us, the other 29 or so Christmas seasons have followed our familiar tradition, Christmas Eve in Hillsboro with the Morgan family, Christmas morning, the three of us in our house/camper/bus and Christmas evening in Waynesville with the Boggs family.

Last year, 2018, we began adding to our old Christmas traditions. The house needed to be worked into our traditions and we did not want to give up Christmas Eve with the Morgans, Christmas Day with the Boggs and certainly not Christmas morning in the bus.

What to do? Well, add a day to the celebration, of course! 

Last year on December 26 Odie prepared a meal for us and we celebrated Christmas with Odie in the house to begin a new tradition.

I believe she was planning to prepare the same meal this year, but we had leftover Arizona tamales so we had to eat them, right? If tamales are going to go to waste then they might as well go to my waist!

We had tamales, salsa from Acapulco, delicious cheese sauce, sausage leftover from part of Steve and Karen's contribution on Christmas day and probably a few things I am forgetting. It was all wonderful!

Then Odie distributed presents to us representing millions of dollars lots of thought and preparation. She is one of the most thoughtful and kindhearted people I know and that makes me proud.

She found her mother several items of clothing she has been looking for and her gifts for me were perfect too. You know you have officially reached the "too big for your britches" club when you own your very own seatbelt extension for commercial flying.

I have a Milwaukee 18V weed-eater that stays in Odie's garage for me or Dad to use when mowing the yard. There was also a battery operated blower that we kept in the garage to blow the grass trimmings from the drive, sidewalk and porch. 

However, that blower has always gone with us in the tent trailer. We use it to clean the carpet in the pulpit area under the tent and to blow the grass and dirt out of the trailer. That left no blower for Odie's.

A Milwaukee blower that uses the same battery as the weedeater was a perfect gift.

Hey, I may not be the most creative gift buyer, but I am practical!😁

Yesterday was a great second round in a new Christmas tradition for our family. Like all traditions, this one can not be set in stone. Our life requires more flexibility than that.

There have been years that we have had to leave Christmas night or early on December 26 in order to make it in time to begin a scheduled revival. If that needs to happen in future years, we will roll with the punches.

Thank you for joining us on Mile Markers today.



  1. Davy, "going to go to waste then they might as well go to my waist!" Hey, I really liked that expression & am going to really remember it, TXS! for the great excuse, Frankie.

    Frankie Shiflett


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