December 24

Traditions vs. Legacy

Traditions vs. Legacy

By Deborah Johnson

December 24, 2017

Christmas, Goals, healthy habits, Inspirational speaker, mindsets, persistence, personal development

Traditions vs. Legacy

Traditions and customs have long been an important part of many cultures. Certain traditions create a comfortable box in which to establish customs that can be handed down for generations. For decades, one of our Christmas Eve traditions was spent at my in-laws home, looking out over the San Pedro harbor from their room-width picture window.
In front of one of the windows was the tree where family pictures were snapped. The dangling lamp on a chain was pulled back with care to not be in the photographs or to hit one of the uncles in the head while doing so. Pillows were taken off the couches, put on the floor, as the grandkids jostled, wrestled, teased and tickled each other. Meanwhile, my husband and his brother traditionally handed out the presents.
That era is now over. Right after Christmas this year, we are moving my mother-in-law into a home with dementia care. The house that held a bucket load of pictures, memories and traditions will be sold and another family will then begin making their own traditions.

The End of an Era

 My father is cooking a ham this Christmas, as he has every Christmas for as long as I can remember. We expect it will be the last with our dear mother still with us. The family room that always seemed large shrunk every Christmas with a myriad of grandkids piled in for presents.  Wiffle balls out of wrapping paper whizzed across the room with the opening of presents.
After the chaos of opening presents, the adults would sit and talk. The last gift usually given was from our parents. We were thrilled the first year my father decided to give money instead of gifts. He brought in three large balloons and handed my sisters and I each a large needle. Our gift became apparent when the balloon was popped and the bills floated to the floor. Sweet memories.

Your Legacy

 This week, I had a call from a close colleague and friend. He just found out he has inoperable cancer. As there is no cure, traditions don’t mean anything to him this holiday season. Legacy is what is most important. He succinctly communicated what he wanted to accomplish next, not wringing his hands with confusion or asking my opinion for the first time in a long while. If he only has two months, he’ll at least finish his book, a few songs and his one-person show. If he beats the odds, he’ll have the tools to move forward with increased momentum for some additional years.
Belgian Waffle TraditionWith the reality of life’s vapor snuffed out, tradition becomes less important than legacy. As I think about my friend and the news I received from him, I realized how important it is to reflect on what is most important this season. Traditions will always be important in our family but legacy is even more important.  Christmas is a good time to think about legacy and purpose. Our family celebrates a miraculous birth and ensuing life. Believing in the power of that life is what gives the power for true change and significance. I hope you take some time to evaluate your purpose and source of power so if I get that unexpected call from you, I will be assured you were on track with your personal legacy and purpose.  Have a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours. Click the picture for our Traditional Belgian Waffle Recipe!
DEBORAH JOHNSON: Provides tools for Women at Halftime who want to gain momentum, focus and success. Speaking, Concerts, In-Depth Workshops. Most recent book Bad Code: Overcoming Bad Mental Code That Sabotages Your Life! You can reach Deborah the following ways:Twitter:@DebJohnsonWorks • YouTube ; Facebook:; Websites:;

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

Never miss a good story! Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest news, articles, music & trends!