On a recent trip to Victoria, I noticed a little girl unknowingly mimicking “Linus” of Charley Brown fame. When in motion, she could be found dragging her blanket behind her. When seated, she clutched it to her bosom. Some might proclaim all kinds of neurosis, while others might say it was a simple infantile habit soon to be outgrown.
Having spent much time, observing and interfacing with people, I have notice that most of us, myself included, have habits and idiosyncrasies that move with us throughout life. We too possess our “Linus” blankets, albeit perhaps more sophisticated and subtle in nature than those of a child. They may offer us comfort, security, warmth, familiarity, or routine, among other things, sometimes without us being fully cognoscente of their purpose.
At this time of year, with all the traditions and habits around Christmas, people drag all kinds of “blankets” around. Some of the traditions are lovely and cozy, while others suggest falsehoods and deceptive narratives that try to placate and control. The challenge occurs when someone, (a parent in the case of the aforementioned child), tries to steal the “blanket” or to cajole us into examining those things that have become part of our internal fabric or ritual.
Traditions and habits can be profound and life giving, as can the stories and narratives that frame our lives . But, be aware of the “Linus” blankets that can limit and imprison. Choose those things that birth new life and speak to the Advent pilgrimage and its culmination in the light of Christ!