Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Top 10 Christmas Tradions

Here are my top ten Christmas traditions. They are in no particular order.

10. The Nutcracker Ballet. Even though I have never seen the ballet live I adore the story in the music.One time when I was younger I imagined a ballet horse company preforming the Nutcracker live! It was so cool! :)  I also love the nutcracker motion picture. It is a move based on the ballet and is produced by famous children's writer and illustrator Maurice Sendack.

9. Advent/Advent Wreath/-I have to admit that I never knew anything about Advent until I started attending a Lutheran church but I think it's such a great idea/tradition. Here what the LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (the church I attend) says about advent.

Advent specifically focuses on Christ's "coming," but Christ's coming manifests itself among us in three ways--past, present, and future. The readings which highlight Christ's coming in the past focus on the Old Testament prophecies of his incarnation at Bethlehem. The readings which highlight Christ's coming in the future focus on his "second coming" on the Last Day at the end of time. And the readings which highlight Christ's coming in the present focus on his ministry among us through Word and Sacrament today.
The traditional use of Advent candles (sometimes held in a wreath) originated in eastern Germany even prior to the Reformation. As this tradition came down to us by the beginning of this century, it involves three purple candles and one pink candle. You can find out more about the LCMS believes about Advent by clicking here
8. Jesse Tree- This is a new tradition to me but I've really enjoyed what I have done of it so far. The Jesse Tree is similar to an advent calendar but instead of turning back a calendar flap, we read stories from the Old Testament from Adam and Eve to the Messiah, each story pointing to the coming promise, the incredibly impossible gift, the Glorious Christ.After each reading of another
promise fulfilled, we’ll hang the ornament of each story on the branches of a tree, our very
own Jesse Tree, a testament to our covenant-keeping, people-passionate God, whose love
unfolds like an endless gift down through thousands of years. Because we are not in our home this holiday season I haven't been putting the ornaments on our Tree. But the devotional has been fantastic! If you would like more information about the Jesse Tree you can check out Ann Voskamp's blog

7. Cookies!-No holiday season would be complete without wonderful Christmas cookies! This year I've been taking some of my old holiday favorites and trying to convert the recipes to gluten free ones. Some of them had been successful and others not so much. But at least I'm learning! :)

6. Christmas Music-I love the old traditional Christmas songs like Rudolph and Frosty and so many of the other songs that we've heard for years. It seems like each year a different song become more poignant and meaningful. This year my personal favorite is I'll Be Home For Christmas.

5. Christmas Lights-Every year after Christmas Eve service at church my family and I would though town and see everyone's Christmas lights. My sister and I would sing Christmas music at the top of our lungs and everyone would have a jolly good time. My hubby and I have adopted this tradition as well.

4. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service-This is my favorite service of the year-besides Easter. We only have one service that night and after the pastor delivers a sermon we take communion and then we all light candles and then sing "Silent Night". It's so beautiful to see the candles and hear people singing in English, Spanish and German. It's just a little glimpse of what Heaven will be like

3. Christmas Carols- Now I'm not talking about Frosty, The Grinch and Rudolph-I mean Christmas Hymns! Silent Night, Joy to the World, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and so many others! Have you ever read the lyrics. They are so powerful and meaningful.! If you havent' ever looked at the lyrics I strongly encourage you to read and think about them..

2. Opening Presents on Christmas Eve-Tradition started. with my parents. They used to tell us that Santa started out at our house because it was the house with the best kids (Ha! Ha!). Then we kept the tradition after we found out the truth about Santa. My hubby and I keep the tradition so we don't have to get up early on Christmas Day! :)

1 Giving- Growning up my parents always adopted a family from the Angel Tree. I honestly didn't get it   until on Christmas I got to help deliver the gifts  one year. I couldn't believe how little the family had and how appreciative they were of what they got. As a teen at the time it really helped put things in perspective for me. This year my husband and I decided this year to start this tradition with our family. You'll hear more about that in a blog post coming soon.

I hope to get a couple of more post written before Christmas but if I don't I wanna wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

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