Day 23: What’s your favorite holiday and why?

March 3, 2014

Part of the 30 day challenge series

In terms of meaning, my favorite holidays are Christmas and Easter (Resurrection Sunday!).  The day we celebrate God the Son who humbly came as a baby, God with us, to live among us and save us from sin.  Or the day we celebrate Christ risen from the grave.

But in terms of family traditions, my favorite holiday is New Year’s Day.  For some reason, Christmas and Easter were usually difficult for us growing up.  Maybe because we expected too much from a day, as if the significance of a day could change hearts or gloss over any brokenness.  Or the frustrations that came when others couldn’t pretend for a day that nothing was wrong and all was happy.  I wrote more about that last Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But New Year’s Day was a day for new beginnings.  It was a fresh page, a new start.  I really believe there is so much of God’s grace behind the start of new days, months, seasons, and years.  It’s a tacit reminder that we’re given another chance.  His mercies are new.

This was a sterling promise.  We spent time together in the morning, talking, praying, and then getting ready to make the family rounds.  We usually visited with my dad’s side of the family in the morning and then my mom’s side of the family later in the day closer to dinner.  We saw all of our extended family and caught up on the past year.  In Korean tradition, you also pay respects to your elders on this day, wishing them a happy new year and blessings.  In turn, they give you money and blessings, too.  Getting money was always a perk ;], but one of my favorite times was visiting my grandma’s cemetery (my dad’s mom).  We took fresh cut flowers, cleaned her tombstone, and spent time in prayer for our family.  When we were young, the cemetery also had peacocks walking around everywhere.  They’ve since removed them because the peacocks pecked at all the flowers, but my brother and I had fun looking for them.  My grandma was the first believer in our family (Ian, your great-grandma!).

New Year’s is a little different now with a family of my own.  The past two years, we spent New Year’s in Cypress with appa‘s side of the family.  Appa and I talked this past year, and we realized that Christmas is more meaningful than New Year’s for his family, and New Year’s is comparatively more meaningful for my family.  So maybe next year we’ll be dividing our holidays a little differently among our family!  But New Year’s will always carry that promise of one day all things new for me.  Each new year is a fresh slate, but one Day, all things will be made new.  For good.  We can hold onto that promise.  ♥


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