Last week I posted about how I wanted to have a more Christ centered Christmas this year. I love traditions. As a child I remember driving around to look at Christmas lights, and joining the church Christmas play (I NEVER got to be an angel and I’m still scarred). I loved decorating the Christmas tree with my mom while a Christmas movie played in the background. For many years my family would visit a Christmas tree farm to cut a live Christmas tree. It became a joke that we would search for the straightest tree possible, yet it was always crooked when we got it home. One year it had to be held up with the help of a string tacked to the wall!
One tradition that my kids look forward to is Christmas breakfast. I let them have hot chocolate for breakfast and Ken and I cook breakfast burritos. I love taking them to the church’s candlelight service.
A New Christ Centered Tradition
I have come up with a new Christ centered Christmas tradition this year that I hope will catch on for us. A family Advent Celebration! I have created a short set of readings to do along with lighting Advent candles in our home. I have included scriptures and songs. We plan to invite a couple of our friends to come over and make a party of it.
What I like about this tradition, is that it takes little to no preparation. Five candles from the dollar store and we will be set. I love that this will be something that my kids are old enough to really participate in. I plan to even have H read at least one of the verses from the New International Readers Version.
What Is It?
One thing that Ken and I have been discussing this year is that most people are fine with baby Jesus. But when the focus is shifted to his death and resurrection, they are less comfortable. I really wanted to highlight the whole of Christ’s life here on earth. The reason we celebrate his birth at all is because of his death and resurrection.
I wanted this celebration to show that Christ is the long awaited Messiah and that he came to die in our place, for our sins.
It will take you twenty minutes or so to read through the readings, worship with two songs, and read the scriptures as a family. I wanted this to be useful for young children as well as teenagers. You will find the links to the scriptures and songs in the file, so you could do the whole celebration with just your phone and a couple of candles. If you want, you can change the version of the linked verses on the Bible Gateway website. They all link to ESV, but I plan to change the one I will have H read to an easier version when our family does the celebration.
How to Do It
This is really meant to be so simple that anyone can do it. Invite a neighbor or someone from your church or do it with your immediate family. Traditionally there are certain colors of candle that go with each of the verses. You can go along with that, or you can do any color that strikes you. I think I want white ones, that way I can leave them out to go with the rest of our decorations.
I plan to set a night a week or two before Christmas, so that it doesn’t get lost in the busyness of the day itself. I’m hoping to invite some of our neighbors, as well as one or two from church, so I want to do it ahead of Christmas Day.
I want to pull up the videos for the two songs on our TV so that we can sing with the lyrics. There are five candles and five of us, so that works out perfectly. Each child can light a candle. My five year old can practice reading her verse when we do school in the week before, and my twins can each read one or two passages.
How to Get it!
You can get the Advent Celebration by subscribing to my email newsletter. Sign up, and you will get an email with instructions for access to the file. I’d really love to hear your favorite Christmas traditions either growing up, or with your kids! Comment below and tell me about your favorite one.