Friday

Things I Love About Christmas - Traditions

Christmas is a time for family traditions! Activities we participate in each year, favorite foods, songs we sing together. Traditions are part of what makes Christmas special.

In my family, we have several traditions. My favorite occurs on Christmas Eve. My family will gather together to celebrate the first coming of the King of Kings. The evening will be full of traditions – food, games, caroling. But the best part comes when we hold hands in a big circle around the kitchen table. Someone will douse the lights. In the center is a birthday cake with a candle for every century since the birth of the Child in whose Name we gather. We’ll lift our voices together singing Silent Night, then without pause, we’ll launch into a joyful rendition of “Happy Birthday to Jesus!” I guarantee you, there will not be a dry eye in the house.

Let me tell you a funny story about how that tradition got started. When my sister and I were little, my mother invited some mentally disabled children from a local in-patient facility to spend Christmas Eve with us. She wanted to make the evening memorable and meaningful for all of us, so she decided to make a birthday cake for Jesus. It was Angel Food, with vanilla pudding filling, and whipped cream icing. On the top of the cake she put a beautiful angel on a white cloud, and surrounded the angel with candles - one for every century since Jesus' birth. We all held hands in a circle around the cake, and she lit the candles and led us in Silent Night. But when we finished that, as we were singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, the white cloud around the angel caught fire. It burst into flames. We all stood watching as the angel was burned at the stake, like Joan of Arc. She accomplished her purpose -- it was a memorable evening!

I hope your Christmas is full of special traditions that bring you closer to family and friends, and that this year is a memorable one for you!

P.S. I don't want you to miss my Christmas greeting video, so I'm repeating it here. It's short - only 20 seconds or so. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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