Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Readers share: How does your family keep CHRIST in Christmas?
We have a Happy Birthday Jesus Party either at home with just us or we go somewhere and celebrate with others (they plan) or we take our party on the road to share with others. We read the story of Jesus Birth from the Bible , we may have a craft or a game, special snack, we sing Happy Birthday and have cake. We will give out some type of Happy Birthday Jesus token (bracelet, sticker or pencil). It all depends on how much money available. If we take the party on the road it is done before Christmas. When we do it with just us we do it after the 11pm Christmas Eve service. We come home put our tree up(yes I said put our tree up) and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
P.S. We will be taking our party on the road this year too. We will be going to the Salvation Army Daycare downtown.
When we do that we still do our after sevice thing:) We also(just our family) go Christmas Caroling to elderly people we know. We surprise them by showing up singing 1-2 carols and leaving a small homemade or handmade gift all in the name of Jesus.
We also say Merry Christmas to everyone we see. – Kimberly Robinson, Louisville, KY
For the last few years, our family tries to remember the great sacrifice that Christ made for us and make a sacrifice of our own. We pick at least one person who needs help at Christmas and help them. This year our church has an angel tree and we drew a little girl who needs clothing and of course we’ll give her some toys. This does mean we scaled back on what we buy for our own children, but they enjoy shopping and being an angel too and haven’t complained a bit that we give them a little less. We also read the Christmas story. – Lori S., Louisville, KY
I grew up in a Protestant home steeped in German tradition. One thing that we always looked forward to were opening the windows of an advent calendar that goes from 12/1 to 12/24. We got ours at Tonini’s this year, but found some really nice ones at Books a Million as well. I was perplexed that Lifeway doesn’t carry them!
We also celebrate the tradition of Advent…especially the lighting of the Advent candles on an Advent wreath. I have looked online this year and there a MANY ideas for making your own which is great for kids. Daily devotions often accompany Advent tradition.
In the last few years we have tried to get away from so much focus on gift-giving. Although we still do this, we have really backed down and give much more to charities instead. My mom and dad and 3 sisters now all donate to charities in each other’s names instead of exchanging gifts.
I work every Sat/Sun as a nurse, so I do consider much of what I do a ministry. Since I was raised as a “PK” and literally went to church “in the womb”, I so miss worship. So, I have found a church that has Wednesday night Advent worship. I’m hoping that it is a blessed experience as I am taking my mom and dad, who served the CHURH for 43 years together. And, it just happens to be enmeshed in German tradition!
Blessed Christmas to you, – Kim C., Louisville, KY
We listen to Happy Birthday Jesus every year – even though we now have teens. We read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. Read advent devotionals up through Christmas – Louisville, KY
We always put our nativity scene on the mantle, complete with a night-sky backdrop, before putting up any other Christmas decorations, to give Christ Top Priority and the prominent place in our family room. [Usually the tree is in the back room; we even had it in the basement one year. Before we had a fireplace, we purposely got a very small tree and put our nativity scene on a table in front of the tree to symbolize our emphasis on Jesus’ Birth as the reason for our celebration…]
I have tried to incorporate typical birthday celebration ideas to help everyone remember we are celebrating a Birthday. One year we even found balloons that said “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!” on them! So for a couple years we even had streamers and balloons as part of our decorations (in the dining room, of course, because that’s where we decorate for everyone’s birthdays!)
Our traditional treat for birthdays is a fruit pizza rather than cake, so for Jesus’ birthday I make a “Super Dooper, Double-decker, Deluxe Fruit Pizza for Jesus!”
[I have decorated it with holly leaves at the corners and “Merry Christmas” with “CHRIST” in red and the other letters in green in the center… I have put a small nativity scene on it, even a Christmas card nativity laid flat on the “cake,” and the words “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” etc.]
We use a zero candle (represents Jesus not having an age; eternal) and sing the “Happy Birthday” song.
Next come the presents!
The way we give [birthday presents] to Jesus is by giving to others. On all of our presents, our tags read “To: JESUS c/o ____________ From: The Miller Family <>< “
(or the individual member’s name who’s giving the gift.
Others have mentioned that the Birthday Party idea is more for younger children… My oldest is almost 25, and we’ve been doing this his entire life! One year, when my older children were young, we had a Birthday Party for Jesus, to which we invited the children’s friends to come. [It occurs to me that this could be a great annual evangelistic outreach!] Usually though, we have the above-described celebration at my husband’s extended family gathering on Christmas Eve and repeat the event with my family on Christmas Day!
We have about two dozen+ Christian Christmas storybooks that are only on the shelf during December (to make them special) and a growing collection of Christmas music CD’s. Another thing we have done during Advent is to have a manger [ours is a rectangular basket] to which family members add a piece of straw or hay, anonymously, as they do random, secret acts of kindness– in order to have the manger prepared for the baby Jesus to be added on Christmas morning.
My children have always thoroughly enjoyed Christmas with Jesus’ birth being the Only theme… [NO Santa Claus…] SON-cerely, Jeana Miller <><