One of the truths of this life is that where flexibility increases, joy increases also. Everyone loves tradition. Or, at least they love what tradition brings: security. And so come Christmas-time we all gravitate towards the age-worn ways of the past, whatever they might be. (Each family hauls it's own ancient tome of Christmas Do's & Don'ts from a trunk in the attic on an annual basis.) But, inevitably, with expansion and growth, old ways rub up against new ways and there can be friction. Or, a bit of bending takes place and joy is found in the unexpected.
Our family has undergone some rapid expansion, (three children-in-law, and nine grand-children in ten years), and without the willingness to re-assess old ways year by year, we likely would have disbanded into separate Christmas celebrations by now. Bit by bit, the Christmas of my childhood has morphed into a new thing that I am proud to be a part of. We have learned to spend less, to slow down and savour, to commit to togetherness. Therein is joy.