Curious to know how others celebrate Advent season/Christmas.
Do you do any readings? Crafts, baking, singing, movies, etc?
Do you celebrate with family or with others also?
How does your church celebrate?
This will be my wife and I’s second Christmas and first one with a child (>1 yr old). He “painted” his first ornament today. We have yet to establish many traditions, so I came here to steal some of yours…
Back in the day some friends put this together. Hope it helps
Scarlet Thread.pdf (652.5 KB)
Our family puts up the decorations after Thanksgiving and we have put up the nativity scene minus the Jesus so they’re all looking at the floor lol. We also have an advent calendar and Mommy puts in candy for all five of us every night. Or at least, most nights. She usually forgets once or twice. My dad turns on the ‘epic christmas carols’ YouTube tracks so we get some really epic Christmas spirit going on in our house haha. Usually the Christmas music starts coming out after December starts. Mostly the decorations go up early because my sister is really excited. We also sing carols on Christmas Eve and then the way we open presents, since there are so many of us (I have four siblings) is that we roll an eight-sided die and depending on the number (Daddy gets two of them since he’s in charge) the person for that number gets to open a gift for them. Usually our grandparents come to visit also, and for Christmas dinner we have ham and mashed potatoes and all sorts of yummy stuff.
Make a Jesse Tree and ornaments…and do the readings each day leading up to Christmas. Here’s what I’m talking about.
Going to the TRC Christmas concert!!!
Well, we went one year, 11 years ago. Shouted our lungs out with ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ and ‘Come Thou Long Expected Jesus’ and ‘O Come All Ye Faithful.’
It was a wonderful night. Heartening to my soul.
The scarlet thread is good, but I’m open to whatever advent reading recommendations are out there. Thanks, @adionne for the recommendation!
Every year after thanksgiving, we go get our tree and put up the decorations. We make yummy things to eat (this year I made crepes in the morning and Hannah made cookies later in the day) and play Christmas music.
I am a sucker for reading Dickens’ Christmas Carol, but the kids have to be old enough.
There are many Christmas movies, but I’m not much of a movie guy.
We put up Christmas decorations and add to them each year. My goal is to make our house the Christmas house in the neighborhood. We engage in an Advent devotional and light an Advent candle each Sunday during Advent at our house. I take great joy in accompanying my daughters to a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Our family indulges in a plethora of Christmas movies and consumes a significant amount of hot chocolate. My three oldest perform in a Christmas recital for piano.
Furthermore, our celebration of Christmas does not cease abruptly on the 25th. We observe all 12 days at my home, and on January 6th (Epiphany), we take down the Christmas lights. On this day, we bake a king cake, recount the story of the Magi, and journey through every room of the house, praying that the Lord would bless its use throughout the coming year. We culminate with a practice known as chalking the door, a venerable European tradition. This involves inscribing the year and the letters CMB above the front door. The CMB signifies both the traditional names of the Magi and the Latin invocation ‘Christus Mansionem Benedicat’ (Christ Bless this House). This tradition serves as a fitting and joyful conclusion to the holiday season, preventing it from ending too abruptly.
Every discussion on Christmas among reformed Christians has a grinch, so I guess I’ll fill the void.
Our Christmas tradition is working around the house, and some gatherings of the extended family. We do take the opportunity to read an account of Christ’s birth with our kids.
We wanted to separate from the culture’s materialistic Christmas, so we take New Years as a time give thanks and remember the year past, plan for the year ahead, and exchange gifts that (hopefully) will help with the things we plan to tackle and learn in the next year.
I will Grinch a little bit too. Advent devotions don’t work for my family. I made that decision last year. Most devotions are too long for my kids’ attention spans (I have kids from age 5 to late teens, so brevity is key). And in ordinary life we probably only get to devotions 2-3 times per week. When life speeds up in December? Yeah, we aren’t getting through 25 days of two-page devotions. So we won’t.
We do take to singing Advent and Christmas hymns for our evening time of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. “Joy to the World,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come O Come Emmanuel” are all big favorites around here. We usually sing by the tree with just the lights on the tree once it’s up.
And like Pastor Spurgeon, we wring all 12 days out of Christmas. I was raised just high church enough (Methodist) to know the difference between Advent and Christmas, and we wring every drop out of the latter. Why the rush to wrap up Christmas by sundown on the 25th? We have done a 12th Night party and may again. We don’t celebrate Epiphany, though—sounds a little Popish.
Oh! We also try to catch a Messiah performance somewhere also. I love Messiah—what a masterwork and a gift from God through Handel to the English-speaking peoples.
My pastor was ahead of me , just didn’t drop the podcast til today.
Worth a listen 17. Christmas Traditions | Well-Driven Nails
My wife and I started a new Christmas tradition of her wrapping the presents and I read aloud from the Helpful Marriage book. It was helpful during the first read through when I read it on my own and much more helpful to read and hear it together. Laughing at the same parts, discussing each chapter and crying together in Chapter 2.
Maybe it should have been the titled “The Actually Helpful Marriage Book”.