It is a funny thing how traditions get started. Most searches for the origins of traditions end up in some happenstance occasion without much significance. It is often the experience desired to be repeated which drives the movement from repetition to tradition. I believe just such a tradition has formed in our household this year.
The kiddos were blessed in receiving Legos from their Papa. Dances and shrieking aside they immediately wanted to put together their newfound treasure. Some negotiations occurred, but ultimately Papa made himself available to the task. A task he and the kids soon found would go on for far longer than anticipated. Papa needed a break and I sat in. Soon my son needed a break and his brother sat in. Likewise my eyes and back begged and other opportunities beckoned as I made my exit and my wife sat in. And so the carousel went.
We were blessed to have several families from church visit, yet the Legos still had to be built. My kiddos sat by others they did not know but the Legos provided a bridge beyond the generations and familiarity. At one point it was only the ‘adults’ putting together the never ending bags of blocks. Conversations flowed freely. All were involved if only to discern between light and dark gray on the wordless instruction or to pick up a wayward piece off the floor. It warmed my heart to see something seemingly so simple, so ‘childish,’ could bring young and old together in common purpose and dignity. There is great wisdom in having different generations work side by side for the stories told and humbling observations.
The night ended and the next day brought more Lego building and rotations within the family, and I am sure we will be back at it again another day (one does not simply stop building Legos). But I look forward to next Christmas and another never ending Lego project for a new community to form around. For in many ways, when we think about it, celebrating Jesus’ birthday is all about reuniting and forming community – something many of us desperately need. Maybe Legos can be one of those ways in our house for years to come.