Christmas Adam

My wife, her family, and I have quite a few traditions around the holidays. Many of the traditions revolve around this day, 23 December. The family has come to call this day, “Christmas Adam.” (in reference to Adam and Eve. I appreciate the pun–tastic nature of this naming scheme.) We decorate cookies, judge each other decorating skills for prizes, sing songs, tell stories, swap gifts, and watch movies. This is a family tradition of theirs dating back millenniums as best as I can tell. Christmas Eve is usually a more relaxed day involving cookie/sugar coma recovery, possibly a Christmas Eve service of sorts and more movies. Finally, there is Christmas day, full of gifts, food, and family. I enjoy all of these times of celebration, memories, and family. I find myself still thinking about the rest of the month. 

I think about this month being a time where I am processing my messy places. 

I think of those who don’t have a healthy way to process their mess.

I think of those who are truly in need.

This year I have been thinking about my lack of service in the midst of our Christmas Adam/Eve/Day Trifecta. This year I need to be a part of making a difference for those who are not in the middle of a community who want the best for them. This may be service at a shelter or simply by engaging the people around me and telling my story. Showing that there is hope no matter how hopeless they feel.

How can you engage those you need to know there is hope in this season of darkness and loneliness?




Growing up, we never had many traditions. We never really had an annual groove where we did this or that every year. We celebrated birthdays, holidays, and took trips. However, we didn’t really have any major, “Manning Family Traditions.” I think everyone involved would say this is true. Now that I’m older I go to family and friends houses, or talk about different holiday traditions people do every year. I love hearing about how these traditions bring people together, how they have enjoyed these traditions and what they mean to them. 

For me, I am glad, so glad I do not have a deeply engrained regiment of traditions bonded to my soul. It has been freeing for my wife and I create new traditions that are unique to us and enjoyable for both of us. Meanwhile maintaining the right priorities throughout the process. 

(Aside: It has been more enjoyable for me than for my wife. However, she is amazing and wants to find thing we both agree on and can celebrate together even though she loves the traditions she had.)

These traditions are hard to come up. They leave us with many questions. Do we buy a tree? Do we do gifts for people anymore? Do we do gifts for each other? Do we put up lights? Do we even know why we do any of these things in the first place? 

And no clear answer as we don't love doing some of this stuff and we do love doing other bits of this.

How do she and I work together to find traditions that speak to both of us and align with out priorities?

This is the question we keep coming back to. The question that drives us forward. We don’t have many answers yet, and we are going to keep digging for new answers, but I am glad to have the answers we have and to be looking for these answers with her.

As the clock ticks closer and closer to the “big day,” where do your traditions come from? What do they prioritize? Do these traditions align with your life’s priorities?