Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas - #4393 - 10 Ways to Celebrate Christmas Morning - Regardless of What is Under the Tree, Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience

AW: Our family added #10 to our traditions, we used candles in jars to light the way to our barn, for safety our grandchildren carried battery candles to the barn, where we had a manger with baby Jesus, a battery lit Star, our grandchildren were Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds. We read the Christmas story from the Bible, and sang Silent Night, was very moving for our adults and most important, our grandchildren.  If you don't have a barn, just a path to a special spot would be fine.  Even though the kids were dressed in their nativity clothes, the manger in the barn was a surprise for everyone, what a way to end Christmas Day.

Ten Ways to Celebrate Christmas Morning - Regardless of What is Under the Tree, Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience - 1. Birthday for Breakfast - To serve Birthday Cake for Breakfast — with ice cream and an arch of balloons and birthday hats and light the candles and sing of wondrous grace! He has come! And for us! Our tradition is angel food cake for the birthday cake — made with freshly ground wheat — and I think of the wheat that fell to the ground, died for us and the harvest of the many. And we make breakfast a feast fit for a king. One of our best meals of the year is reserved for Christmas breakfast — recipes we serve only for Christmas Morning Breakfast —- Victorian French Toast with whip cream and fresh fruit and a cranberry raspberry slushy drink and Sausage bake and orange juice and pineapple and we decorate with floating candles and and a nativity scene center piece and our best linens. He’s invited us to His table, adopted us, made us one of His own— and we have time to come, to say yes to His invitation! 2. Gather as a Faith Community To gather in a chapel, in the sanctuary, in the pews as community, to bow low together with the body of Christ and marvel at the mystery of Christ — God with us. 3. Gifts for the Birthday Child To give gifts to the birthday babe, the King Come —- and these are all gifts to the least of these, because Jesus Himself said, when you give to the least of these, you give to me. So we pick out more gifts from His catalogues. We don’t open presents per se — but we open a far deeper joy. {It may sound, yes, terrifying, to not exchange gifts on Christmas morning, it did to me —- but the utter and unadulterated joy we unwrapped in giving away to those Jesus Himself says He’s with, the poor. And we discovered all that He is absolutely true to His word: it is always better to give than to receive, and when you give to them you are giving to Him, it leaves us filled in the realest sense. To read more of our tradition: When Christmas Gets (sorta) Radical ) To do the one thing that is needful — touched the hem of God, murmured adoration and offered up gifts to Him. 10. Follow the Light And come Christmas night, we follow the light and some years it’s outside in the woods, luminaries, candles in jars, lighting a path to a nativity scene and we sing worship in the deepening dark, and some windy years, its filling the house with candles and spending the last hours of Christmas day singing glory, glory, glory, glory to God in the Highest.   Read more to see 4-9........... AW: Very special insights from Ann, maybe just to pick one or two this year and next Christmas add more.

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