Monday, December 21, 2015

A Holy Christmas

On Saturday morning, I was blessed to spend some time with a few fellow moms in prayer. We wanted to take time away from the busy to be with the Lord and reflect on the end of this Advent season. The prayers and reflections I shared can be found at this link if you're interested. The file contains nine pages of loveliness I collected from around the Internet for our morning together. I also read an excerpt from this lovely book.

At the end of our time together, I wanted us to close by sharing a few ways we intend to make our family's Christmas a Holy Christmas. For me, I find that Advent is full of traditions and feast days to focus on the Reason for the Season, but our Christmas traditions sometimes have a more secular feel.

So, I asked the moms to share their ideas to center our celebrations on Christ. We decided that the best way is to sprinkle prayer and the presence of Jesus here and there throughout our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. These were some suggestions:
  • Whether we go to Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, we do not open gifts until we have attended Holy Mass.
  • Christmas Eve we do a candle lit procession to put the baby Jesus(es) in our nativity set(s), singing a hymn. The little ones carry flashlights instead of lit candles, and Dad reads the Bible story.
  • We replace our Advent candles with white candles and put an image of the Christ child in the center of the wreath, lighting those candles throughout the Christmas season (at least until Epiphany or the Baptism of the Lord).
  • We take time to sit before the lit Christmas tree and sing carols that center on Christ.
  • We bake a birthday cake for Jesus and sing to him after our Christmas dinner.
  • We celebrate the wonderful feasts between Christmas and Epiphany: St. Stephen, St. John, Holy Innocents, St. Thomas Beckett, St. Sylvester, and Feast of the Holy Name.
I have found a few more nice ideas to consider, as well:
  • Fast from one meal on Christmas Eve and give the money to the poor.
  • Before opening presents pause to say a brief prayer to thank all of the people who got us gifts and to pray for those who do not have gifts to open on Christmas.
  • Be Christ to others by taking treats to a neighbor or someone in need.
  • Wrap the baby Jesus that goes in the family nativity set, so He is the first gift you open.
  • Invite someone who might be lonely to share your Christmas dinner.
  • Set a place at the Christmas dinner table for Jesus.
  • Watch The Nativity Story movie.
  • Have a birthday party for Jesus, complete with balloons and games.

I am sure there are many other suggestions you could share.
How do you plan to keep your Christmas Day a Holy Day?