Tuesday, December 07, 2010


by Jenny

This is the time of year to celebrate traditions. As I was thinking about it, I realized how few traditions I seem to participate in. Perhaps the best marker of this advent season for me is: finals! This has become a tradition for me since starting at Luther, an important marker that another semester has come to a close and a chance to recognize that growth and learning that has taken place. Ok, that sounds really nerdy—the real perk of finals is realizing you’re almost done with classes and a break is soon to follow!

Actually, compared to other semesters my “finals” load is surprisingly bearable, and quite enjoyable. I have a final Bible study to prepare for my Paul class, which is due this week. Then, I have a final paper for both my Pastoral Care class and my Prophets class. They are short papers and should be fun, and they are due a week apart, so I can focus on one thing at a time. This is the first time that I have no final tests, and in fact, I have not had any tests all semester. I’m definitely enjoying it!

Since I’m not overwhelmed with finals, I had time on Saturday to participate in one family tradition: the Latvian Bizarre (my mom is from Latvia—she came here as a refugee from World War II). Twice a year, my family enjoys going to this event at the Latvian Church in Minneapolis. We eat traditional foods, including homemade baked-goods and desserts, and shop for Christmas gifts made my local Latvian artists. The church feels homey to me and reminds me of when my grandmother and other Latvian relatives were alive and we celebrated special events together. Yet at the same time I feel very removed from my own cultural heritage, since I don’t speak the language (my mom tried to teach me when I was 9, but it didn’t go so well). In any case, it’s good to remember where my family comes from, and to visit with the few relatives that have come here from Latvia in recent years.

The other tradition I have this time of year is the annual get-together with my High School friends. I just got the email today about this year’s gathering, and it keeps amazing me that even so many years after we graduated(I won’t say how many!) we still manage to get about 8-10 of us together each year, plus spouses and kids. I hardly see any of these friends throughout the rest of the year, but they are the kind of people that would be there for you if you need them. At if you miss the yearly party, you’re behind on all the gossip at least until someone has a summer BBQ or until next Christmas! Not all traditions are the best, but they are something you can pretty much count on in life nonetheless.


Blogger Frederiksen said...

Waiting, an opportunity to listen for that still small voice of calm.

12/07/2010 07:23:00 PM  

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