The Zero Tradition

So it’s been Christmas. I think that’s a part of a song lyric actually. Never mind.


I love Christmas. My parents instilled in me a love for the traditions and the holiday and as a child: The presents!!
Once I got older, I remember their annoyance as to why I was so keen on keeping all the Christmas traditions every year… They wanted to change things. I disliked change. A lot!
Don’t mess with my Christmas mister!

But life happens… all the time. Can’t really stop it even though it sucks and cuts deeply at times.

My mom died suddenly. Then Christmas had to change.
Then I got married and Christmas really had to change.
Celebrating Christmas in Japan without the goodies I was accustomed to from Denmark. They simply couldn’t be bought… So I made the best of it.

Then I met Jesus and had the most wonderful Christmas of my life: The one where traditions mattered absolutely ZERO.
By then though, my husband had gotten a taste of my traditional Christmas and so did my daughter… all those lovely presents!

Then my dad died. I blogged a lot about the journey toward the end of his life. Goodness – that was hard!

This was my third Christmas without my dad in my life. The first year I handled really well. Keeping up appearances. “It was the best thing for him to let go of life” etc. I did good.
The second year was not that “easy”, but I thought I made it through alright. It felt harder and I thought I’d make up for it by putting more presents underneath the tree. Maybe it would help. Boy, was I wrong!

Oh dear. Total emotional breakdown in the middle of cooking Christmas dinner. I had to run out of the home… So I took out the trash. Well, in more than one way. All through December I had heard my dad’s voice in my head so often it nearly made me deaf. The pain of remembering! I wanted to scream and run away. His voice might have brought comfort, if I wasn’t so keen on running away from it.

In the parking lot area of where we live, I let the tears run… Nobody and everybody could see me. The mail guy came on his little motorcycle with letters and postcard. He looked at me with such compassion but couldn’t do anything.
I had to get myself together… and made Christmas happen.

The one thing I want to get back to, is to celebrate the Christmas where tradition matters ZERO. They’re good to have, granted. But the main thing isn’t that. It’s JESUS!

And New Year is rapidly coming my way. New Year used to be champagne at midnight. That was life pre-marriage, pre-grey hair, pre-I-need-my-sleep-at-night, pre-wrinkles… You get the idea!

In Japan, New Year is January 1st and spending the day with family. We drink a special sake, so thick with sugar it screeches in the ear canals. The Buddhist bow before their ancestors in front of the family alter… I usually need the bathroom during that time or I shrink and blend into the background. Never knew I had “chameleon traits”…

Then we eat. The food is great – “Osechi” they call it. Well, some of it is tasty… Ahem. Some of these traditional Japanese dishes aren’t my favorites! It used to be the big cooking spree for the Japanese housewives, but these days the New Year dishes (can!)  come ready made and packed from the supermarkets in Japanese, Chinese or Western styles… yeah.

The best food though is the “Ozoni” soup! Yuzu flavored soup with mochi. Yum!

Then we watch (those who can keep their eyes open) the annual “Ekiden” – relay run from Hakone to Tokyo. The TV is utterly boring but the atmosphere is good.

To the whole Blogosphere: I wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year 2018. May this be the year of love, joy and laughter – even through the tears. Because tradition matters ZERO ; And Jesus matters all! 


16 thoughts on “The Zero Tradition

  1. Hello sweet heart. I can feel all your emotions as you share from the heart. Mom and Dad gone.. so young it seems. And then nothing seem the same. Well, I have good news. You will see your parents again one day. They are with Jesus and will be waiting for you when it’s your turn! It is a moment to rejoice! Death has been defeated. Jesus has conquered it at the resurrection! Rejoice! And, yes… Jesus is the all important person now.. if you have the Son, you have Life! Because He came to bring you life, and life more abundant. That’s not physical stuff he’s talking about, it’s LIFE.. the pure essence of LIFE! The Juice! Jesus is the LIFE! And he lives in you! Be blessed little sister. You have LIFE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Focus on Jesus for sure but enjoying tradition is fine as well…remember Jesus participated in traditions too. What I’m trying to say is that it is okay to enjoy traditions while you remember the reason we celebrate.

    Happy New Year! and I pray that 2018 will be your best year yet 🙂


  3. Thinking of you and your aching soul. I pray the Lord helps you to feel His love and His warm embrace, as no one else can. Thank you for sharing your Japanese traditions. I feel like I get to visit… or at least peek through the window. 😉 May your New Year’s and every day be all that God hopes for you! Me and God love you, Lene!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am glad you found Jesus this Christmas instead of tradition. I had the Christmas from hell and swore I would not celebrate it anymore. I had to deal with my adult son who is bipolar/schizophrenic and was visiting his son in Florida. I was a total emotional wreck and having a big time meltdown as he had spent all his money and had no way to get back to the airport. Mind you, I’m only on social security. It’s taken me all of this week to recover. I lost Jesus somewhere in this mess but He found me. He had never left my side even when I held the phone away from my face and was screaming into it for my son to shut up! And listen. I’ve never lost it like this with him. I’m generally patient even when he gives me chest pains. Yes, we got my son home to NY in one piece. I’m in AZ. I have another son. He’s a pastor with a bad heart problem and crippling fatigue. It’s never easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hua… I’m so sorry to hear about this Christmas from hell! No, it sure isn’t easy. but I think yours take the prize! I’m happy to hear though, that Jesus is with you and you can feel Him again. Don’t we all loose our temper or sometime our “mind”??… But He’s always there and only a prayer away. Have a happy New Year friend! Many Blessings.


  5. riverwaters

    It may be the death of father may be harder for a woman than a man. I know that when my father died I got over it within 6 months. It wasn’t planned; it just happened that way. When I found out about it, I was debilitated the first day. I couldn’t stand up. But then when 6 months came around, I stop thinking about my father every day. For some people it had some very hard and then they’re over it. For others it lingers: it lasts for many years. The way I think of it is that your parents would want you to go on with life and have a full life. Your parents would want you to live a life to its fullest in Christ. For Jesus said “I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      To be honest, I think the grieving process is very very different from person to person. Grief isn’t something we can shape as such. Some get over it, some get through it and others learn to live with it.
      I’m sorry about your dad. I do hope you remember him from time to time. As I still do with my mom.
      Many blessing in Jesus.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. riverwaters

        You may be right. It may be a personal thing. I remember how hard it was. It was like somebody had reach down inside my stomach and pulled out a part of me. Perhaps that’s why I got over it so quickly, because I felt it so strongly. I had two very good friends with me that day when I found out about it. They surrounded me and prayed for me.

        Liked by 1 person

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