Family Ideas for Christmas

Luminaries

After dark on Christmas Eve, set luminaries along your front walk or driveway to remind everyone of the coming light of Jesus Christ. Simple luminaries can be made from white grocery bags (or lunch bags). Cut out star shapes on each side of the bag. Fill the bottom half of the bag with sand. Place a large white pillar candle (or a votive candle if using a lunch bag) in the center of the sand. Light the candles after dark.

Christmas Eve*

On Christmas Eve, gather around the Christmas tree to read the Christmas story and sing a few Christmas carols. Read from a picture book, children's Bible, or family Bible.

Christmas Morning*

On Christmas morning, the family discovers that the purple/blue candles have vanished to be replaced by white, symbolizing the purity of God. The Advent hangings are gone and Christmas things are in place. After the family "opens" the stockings, gather at the table for a "traditional" breakfast of juice and Christmas bread. Before eating, have the following celebration and then go to open gifts.

All:

Advent is over; Christmas has come! Christ is born!

Parent:

"For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

All:

sing "Joy to the World"

All:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Child:

God sent Jesus Christ as a tiny baby to be our Savior. Jesus helped poor and sick and hungry and blind people. Why did God create you and me and all of us?

All:

We are created to glorify God and to enjoy God forever.

Parent:

(prayer)

Child:

Why do we give presents at Christmas?

All:

Because it is an act of love.

Child:

God gives us a gift, God's son, Jesus, which we can't completely understand. The Wise Men responded by giving symbolic gifts.

All:

Our gifts to each other are symbols of our love for each other and symbols of our appreciation to God for giving us each other.

Parent:

Help us, O God, to know how to give and receive from each other. Make us know how much we need each other.

All:

Merry Christmas!

The Twelve Days of Christmas*

On the evenings following Christmas, read a short segment of the Christmas story and sing a related carol. You may want to keep this time light after the strong, structured emphasis during Advent. Doing holiday entertaining at this time contributes to a celebrational mood and may be less pressure than in the weeks prior to Christmas. Intergenerational entertaining may mean that everyone has a fun time!

* We thank Carol Myers for sharing some of these family celebrations.

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